48 Comments

The use case that was most problematic for me was google meets. Having the same meeting open in two windows has you actually in the meeting in one window and at the "Ready to join?" page in another. If you close the "Ready to join?" page on the second window, then it disconnects your from the meeting in the first window. If you leave it open, then the second window will eventually start dinging asking "Are you still there?". Again, if you close this tab in the second window, it will disconnect you from the meeting in the first.

Ironically enough, google meets is also my primary reason for using multiple windows. I prefer to have the meeting open in one window and notes, web searches, email, slack, etc. in another. I recognize that I could use the pop-out video or split view feature, but given that the pop-out is always on top (and I usually leave it toward the top center of my screen so that it looks like I'm looking at the camera), it's difficult to navigate around. Furthermore, it takes a few seconds to pop-in/pop-out if I accidentally scroll into that tab with Ctrl + Opt + Up/Down. Split view doesn't fare much better since the second pane is tied to the tab.

The easiest solution I've found so far is simply alt-tabbing between windows, which is instantaneous, doesn't "refresh" anything, and lets me control the sizing independently of everything else.

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I just did some testing, and while it may not be perfect, I think if you use Meet in a favorited or pinned tab, this issue doesn't come up.

Actually, interesting enough, for me, if I have the same Meet tab open in two windows, even in Today tabs, it only lets me view it in one window at a time, unlike other websites. So if I click into the window on Monitor 1, the Meet tab on Monitor 2 goes blank.

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This is new behavior with this release! Super excited by this!

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Super interesting example!

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Please make this an optional setting. I understand that users have a strong preference for syncing tabs, whereas I have a strong preference for not syncing tabs. Can't we make everyone happy here with a setting?

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Yeah and the way they did this makes the browser nigh unusable. There’s no reason at all for this silly behavior, especially since the tabs aren’t truly in sync. You can go to 2 different sites in the “same” tab but closing one closes the other.

Whoever designed this feature was drunk lol

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One of reasons I love Arc so much is the building-in-public way. I noticed that you use the word ‘member’ instead of ’user’, may I ask why?

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I'm not sure of their exact reason, but I think it's likely a way of making it feel like you're part of something, a community of Arc users. It just sounds friendlier and less like you're only a user or a customer of a product.

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Sounds like a subscription business model to me. Which is fine by me! I’d pay for a synced tabs preference 😀

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I'm sorry but I absolutely hate this. I remember when I found out Arc finally stop doing the sharing thing, I was so happy and poked friends around me to tell them about this great change in Arc. Imagine the same but reverse happened to me today.

The reasoning for me for _NOT_ syncing the tab is because Tabs are not just simply a URL. Each tab is an instantiation of a URL _AND_ the transient state as we interact with the page. Syncing tabs across window makes that distinction go away, if you go to that tab in another window. It reloads the tab with the same URL but with different state: imagine it's a YouTube video, now you have two copy of the same video playing, imagine it's Twitter and you lost the composing tweet and timeline position, etc. Even if we actually move the tab instance around to different windows, it does not map to the OS's window concept for me -- each window should be a brand new workspace for me (and in browser's context, I do expect the cookies / credentials to be carried over but not the browsing state).

What's confusing to me is that, we reversed the decision without actually fixing any of the original problem at all. Arc sadly went back to the state months ago that I do not enjoy now.

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Appreciate the transparency on this decision process. The use case that gets me is:

- start composing something (e.g a tweet), realize I need to look something up so open a new window

- finish looking up what I was looking for, notice twitter tab, switch to it

- twitter tab out of sync, has lost my in progress post

- close it

- realize this was being edited in the other window

I guess I wonder if there is truly one window to rule them all, why let us open another window? Maybe if we couldn’t do that it would force using the features as designed- split tabs, switch over, etc?

Even so, there are so many times when I just want a new window to quickly look something up and discard it I wonder if that could be addresses better in a Arc like way somehow.

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Regarding opening another window, copied from something i just wrote.

What in part makes Arc special is the UX of spaces, which serve a similar function to having multiple windows with their respective tabs - but centralizes browsing (i.e. no need for multiple windows), and makes other “spaces" (“windows”) easily accessible via the UI. Opening another Arc window becomes less necessary, but not entirely obsolete. A second Arc window was useful in new ways such as having two separate spaces open in different desktop views, or maybe cases where split views weren't enough, and other peculiar use cases of having multiple windows with synced tabs - all while having peace of mind that all my today tabs were always in the same place and would not be affected if I open or close windows.

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Spaces require you to anticipate how you might group your windows though. Many times when I am opening new windows it is to quickly follow a link or look something up without disrupting whatever I’m doing. I may be able to figure out a solution for this within spaces and “routing” links through Little Arc but there will remain times where I need something more dynamic. Being able to open a Little Arc link in a Blank Window might help but sheesh, so many modes to navigate.

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For looking stuff up:

option + command + N opens little arc, then search for whatever you need :)

But also can just command + T to quickly search, and then command + W to close?

no need to open a new window for what i think you are describing

For following a link:

command + click to open in new tab

or shift + click to peek at link

or option + click to open link in split view

some of those may work for you

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Doesn’t help when you need to do development work and see two full size windows side by side on separate monitors. For that I’m not stuck using Brave again because of this crazy behavior not being an option.

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Curious, can you clarify why having two windows side by side on separate monitors doesnt work for you?

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Aug 27, 2023·edited Aug 27, 2023

Because the tabs are “in sync” but they aren’t actually. You can open a new Arc window and navigate away from the original tabs in the new window but they’re still erroneously “linked”. I could have a client website open on one window and MDN docs open on another window, be done with the docs and close it and it’ll close the client website because they both started off as the same “tab”.

I don’t want to have multiple spaces for every single client website, there’s a few hundred client sites and having multiple spaces for each monitor would be a nightmare.

Just want it to work like a web browser should, with each window being its own set of tabs. Sync the pins and nothing else.

The way they sync’d tabs originally is not the way they seem to sync now. If I go from one website to another, then the tabs are seemingly no longer in sync. But closing one closes the other.

This is the one key feature that should be a toggle. Or add a new “sync’d tabs” section and keep those tabs truly in sync, instead of this half sync’d state they currently are in.

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That's such a good point and relatable. That's where Little Arc fits the bill better, but it is tough to build in that habit of CMD + Option + N.

What you described though is the sole issue I ran into, and without that issue, it definitely feels like a better solution. But you're right, how do you disincentivize opening a new window when you're not really needing a new window per-say. Maybe CMD + N focused more like Peek with the ability to turn into a full separate window or something.

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Little Arc would work for me if you could have 2 of them open. Sometimes someone Slacks me 2 links and I want to open them both, while I'm also still in a Google Meet call.

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I'll be honest and admit I was not aware of Little Arc - even though it was mentioned explicitly in this post! Maybe goes to show how hard it is to get users to try something new lol. I will try using that for my use case

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You can also hold Shift + Click on a link to peek at the page

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Pro-tip: This also works if you do the Right Click > Search Google for...

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Aug 24, 2023·edited Aug 24, 2023

Wait, isn't Little Arc the default for opening links from other apps with Arc? Just trying to figure out how you missed it. Hope it works well for you, it's super handy.

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I had no idea for a while though that you could instigate it instead of doing a new window though. Pretty sure that's what they mean. I'm still trying to build up the habit and I'm totally aware of it. Still do new window so often though.

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Ah, totally fair. Makes sense

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Sadly Arc in its current state is terrible for web development. I hope this switch this insane feature back off, or make in an option, or at least actually SYNC. This false sync they’re currently doing is obnoxious.

In no reasonable world does closing a tab to bing.com make sense to close a tab to arc.net. But it is what happens currently if you browse to two sites in the same tab slot in multiple windows.

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I was happy when you has stopped syncing the tabs. When I use a multi-monitor set up — one for coding, one for Google/ChatGPT — I would constantly get confused what was I working on and where. Maybe that's a good thing but I'd edit something in this window and it would show up separately in the second window. It did irritate me a lot. I wonder why not have a simple toggle to choose? "Sync tabs between windows — yes or no?"

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Aug 25, 2023·edited Aug 25, 2023

The change came just as I was irritated enough to go back to Safari, so I was really happy too. Arc has many great things and would hate to let it go.

The problem is, that the tab syncing is broken in its current state. I could somehow justify if it would have the *exact* same state in every tab in every window. Now it's just plain confusing, breaks websites and adds clutter.

I think the main issue here is that there are many, many use cases, and deciding on a this kind of feature that works for everybody is difficult - impossible even. As I said earlier on this thread, I mainly use 3 displays, but sometimes I work from my laptop (with only 1 display). But the reason having 3 displays is that I can have different things visible all the time: 2-4 browser windows, code editor, multiple apps etc. On my laptop, I use just one browser window and Tab Syncing isn't an issue. There are no need for multiple windows on 1 display, I adjust my workflow accordingly. And on the laptop, tab syncing isn't an issue, but when using 3 displays...

I'd really would like to hear from multi-monitor users who needs and likes the tab syncing. I'd like to understand how they use it and why they prefer it.

For me, Arc is the best browser in the world without the tab sync, but with tab sync on... it's not very usable. They say Arc isn't for everyone – and I totally understand it – but hope they'll come around and create an option for it.

Ps. I just realized I haven't been this passionate with an app for a long time. 😄

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My stop-gap arrangement is to use multiple spaces with each space for a browser window. Solves the problem! Now I have two spaces: primary and secondary.

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I'm definitely in the camp of wanting the tabs to sync between windows, in part because I really want them to sync between devices. If I move from my MacBook Air to my iMac, I want to see the same tabs—pinned and Today.

I do feel that there's more that can be done in this area. Like some others, I use multiple monitors, and Arc has some issues there (bugs with Command-Option-N not getting keyboard focus depending on which screen you're on, what's happening in Arc, etc). I use Little Arc heavily, but Little Arc windows are just too ephemeral—a click in my email app takes over whatever was there if I'd moved something to the other screen so I could refer to it while writing. And yes, I do use Split View, but that can't extend across desktops in a reliable way, so a second window is necessary.

I find dragging out a second window to be helpful but awkward, since it's always the same size as my main (very large) window, which is always too big for a secondary reference window. So resizing is a requirement there.

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Personally, I'm disappointed in this reversion but I understand that both states are less than ideal.

This was a huge pain point for me with Google Meet where I would have multiple windows open, while in a meeting.

I would see a call in my non-active meet window, thinking that it's a separate set of tab state and close it only to be disconnected from the call.

Worse yet is Confluence where I might be editing in one page while referencing some information in another window. I'll accidentally open the edit tab in another window which starts a second session in the multiplayer editor. That or close a tab in a secondary window which then closes my exisiting edits in my primary window

I'm not sure I understand how having shared tabs is more similar to existing browsers. Isn't this breaking away from everyone's existing mental models? I mean, syncing between mobile and desktop I get but not between windows. Perhaps I'm misremembering something after having used Arc for more than a year now.

Anyway, I recall that this made Arc miserable to use (like 1000 little cuts that aren't enough to make you leave) so I sort of dread a return back and also don't understand why this can't be a toggle. I suppose because more toggles means more surface area for issues to arise.

That said, maybe my workflow is just plain wrong and I need to rethink it. I probably would like to use just one window except when cross-referencing a lot of information where you can only get so far with split view.

Thanks for the considered update and sharing the product thinking though!

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If today tabs are going to be sync, their content needs to stay synced just like the pinned tabs. Otherwise it's just a recipe for disaster

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While I understand the intent might have been to provide a seamless experience, this feature has been significantly impeding my productivity. Often, I find myself accidentally closing a tab in one window, only to realize that it was a tab I intended to keep open in another. The lag that occurs due to this syncing further slows down my work.

One of the primary advantages of having independent windows is the ability to manage separate tasks or projects. The current synchronization defeats that purpose. If the tabs in both windows mirror each other, it diminishes the very essence of what makes two windows beneficial.

Would't it be more feasible to instead introduce a setting to either use synchronisation or disable it?

I genuinely appreciate the innovative features your team consistently introduces to enhance user experience. However, I believe reconsidering this particular feature would be in the best interest of users seeking efficient multitasking capabilities.

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I sent a long feedback to Arc about the Tab Syncing. Tab Syncing breaks the browser for me, as it adds clutter and makes tabs really difficult to find.

It creates spaces (window) in spaces (Space) in spaces (tabs), and makes everything really confusing. The single "synced" tab might have just as many states as you have windows open. I mainly use 3-4 windows with different tab sets, but now as all the windows look the same, tabs might not even fit in the tab bar for quick navigating. Quick navigation and clarity is key here.

Let's take an example of having 3 displays with 3 Arc windows open and just googling something. It creates the Google tab in every window. Then if I need that information to stay on the window I originally googled it in, I don't need to access it from another window because it's already open.

Yes, I know, I could use spaces for every window, but as I open and close windows every now and then, changing the space after opening would be really cumbersome. I like to think that windows are spaces itself.

I understand Arc wants to differentiate from other browsers, but in my opinion it's different enough even without the Tab Syncing. I'm hoping this could be an option, but understand that it adds complexity in development. But still...

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The solution is Little Arc. But it is too volatile when you're limited to one. Too many tabs get lost due to forcefully integrating all newcomers into a single 'Little' box.

Surely, when something is 'Little', you can hold many of them.

> But doesn't this mean too many windows?

No, because they're not full-fledged windows. They're floating tabs.

Each one is connected to the Space that summoned it, sitting in the Today tabs section.

Little Arc's "Open in [Space]" becomes "Move to..." when you want to Pin it or change Spaces.

Little Arc should then follow the Space's colour. Even now, it's always associated with a Space anyway, but hides this fact.

Because Little Arc was never this 'neutral' ground like a No Man's Zone, but it feels like it's trying to be.

It ends up acting like the one overzealous guard at the city-gates who processes way more entrants than he can handle, and drops the ball a lot.

Let there be multiplicity of Little Arcs for every Space, and account for them in Today's tabs, and maybe it reduces the need for producing another blank-slate Arc, aka. an entire temporary city outside the walls.

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Thanks for reverting the change. I think both windowing approaches can work but they require changes to help alleviate the tradeoffs. These tradeoffs being made are absolutely spot on with my Arc experience.

Something small that could help make the synced tabs better (besides the suggested improvements): allow folders in the "Today" section and do not sync their open/close state across windows. This can help alleviate some of the clutter that can occur with the synced tabs.

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Holly molly! I've lost so many tabs I guess that in two occurrences. I've felt very very bad about it. But I'm very glad and relieved that it wasn't an specific misusage by me and that you guys have been looking at it. Thanks for the transparency and keep up the good work! 😄

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Another vote for "Please make this a toggle!" 🙏 The synced-tabs version is completely unusable for me.

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Nooo, I hate having the same tabs opened on every single windows, it's one of the things I hate the most in ARC, and I use it 12h a day every days. I used to have one "purpose" by window, but now it's not possible anymore because it's now just a big mess with all my tabs all around. What's even the point of having multiple windows then? Wait, what's the point of having multiple desktops on mac then? PRODUCTIVITY FFS. They removed the ability to create a "New Blank Window" and now they remove the use of having multiple windows altogether. wtf? Do I really have to go back on Chrome just for that? I've been using ARC for almost a year now, and the more time passes, the more they remove the features that made me use ARC in the first place. Sad to see.

One more thing. Don't remove features while expecting users to use other features that fulfils the need "better" in your opinion when those are hidden from him. You cannot expect users to use ARC "correctly" the way you designed it just because you want it, that's not how UX works. Users should not need to read a guide or watch a 30minutes video on how the browser works. The interface should speak by itself and make the user use what's the best for him because it's designed this way, not the opposite. And remember that ppl will report you the things they don't like, not the opposite. So wait for the ppl that don't like this revert to be the majority now. Are you gonna reverse it again and again and again? Or will you think like designers and allow users to decide in the settings? Both versions are developed, both works, and both are liked and hated by different users. Once you introduced them both, you split the community between the ones that like and depend on it and the others. It's your fault and your responsibility to find a fix, not choose a side.

Be inclusive, like the "One browser to rule them all" should be.

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Aug 27, 2023·edited Aug 27, 2023

Oh, and please let me know the value of having synced tabs when it's actually two different tabs? One can just create the same tab on another window without having it synced, and this way closing one won't close the other. That's just a better behaviour!

You're talking about the issues of one and the other, but what about the real value of them? And what if one allow the users to replicate the behaviour of the other, but the other doesn't? Well, this is what you are doing here! in the wrong way ofc. This synced shit is totally unusable for me and there's no workaround either. I cannot find ANY value in this thing. You just listened to a minority of angry users and reverted a change that the majority liked more. That's not how you should do things, otherwise you'll just revert things again and again for ever. That only works for bugs, not features.

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This is currently driving me absolutely crazy. Going back on chrome until they fix it.

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