Manuel Moreale on “The Browser Company”

Manuel Moreale:

It’s called The Browser Company but what they make is a wrapper around the Chromium web browser. So the browser company is making everything but the actual browser. Can you imagine starting a company called “the pizza company” and then outsourcing the pizza part to a 3rd party? So bizarre.

These days, they are building a UI layer above AI to help people summarize the web rather than browse it. So, perhaps they should rename the company The Summarizing Company?

In August 2023 I begged Arc to allow me to pay them for what I thought was a great web browser in Arc 1.5.1. If Arc had a true iOS counterpart that synced tabs, spaces, etc. it could have given all other browsers a real competitive challenge.

Instead, not long later my letter to them, they embraced AI (as did the entire industry) and ditched the idea of making a full browser on iOS. It was clear that The Browser Company and I did not see eye-to-eye on what I expected from a web browser. So, in March, I went back to using Safari full-time (modifying how I used Safari based partly on how John Siracusa uses browsers and a helper app called Switcheroo).

The people at The Browser Company are clearly talented. They are nimble, move quickly, and ship great products. They’ve written a Windows browser using Swift and just recently their iOS app has been nominated for an Apple Design award for interaction. They have chops. But they just aren’t making software that I want. I wanted Arc 1.5.1. And they’ve left that behind.

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