Home News Apple’s AI Ambitions: Is Arc the Next Target for ‘Sherlocking’?

Apple’s AI Ambitions: Is Arc the Next Target for ‘Sherlocking’?

Apple's AI Ambitions

Apple is reportedly developing new AI-powered features for its core apps, including Photos, Notes, and Safari, sparking speculation about whether the tech giant might be preparing to ‘sherlock’ Arc, a popular AI-powered web browser.

What is ‘Sherlocking’?

‘Sherlocking’ is a term used to describe Apple’s practice of incorporating features from third-party apps into its own software, often rendering those apps obsolete. The term originated from Apple’s Sherlock search tool, which was eventually replaced by Spotlight after it adopted many of Sherlock’s features.

Apple’s AI Plans

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple is working on a range of AI enhancements for its upcoming iOS 18 update. One notable feature is “smart recaps,” which would use AI to summarize notifications, text messages, web pages, news articles, and other content.

Arc: A Potential Target?

The smart recaps feature bears a striking resemblance to some of the core functionalities of Arc, a browser known for its AI-driven features like summarizing articles and web pages. This has led to concerns among Arc users and developers that Apple might be planning to ‘sherlock’ Arc by integrating similar features into Safari.

The Implications for Arc

If Apple does indeed introduce smart recaps and other AI features into Safari, it could pose a significant challenge to Arc. Apple’s vast user base and tight integration of its software could make it difficult for Arc to compete, potentially pushing the browser into obscurity.

A Pattern of Behavior

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has been accused of ‘sherlocking’. In the past, the company has faced similar accusations with apps like Konfabulator (replaced by Dashboard) and Sandvox (overshadowed by iWeb).

The Future of Arc

While the future of Arc remains uncertain, the browser’s developers have expressed confidence in their product’s unique value proposition. They argue that Arc offers a more comprehensive and customizable AI-powered browsing experience than what Apple is likely to offer.

The Broader Impact

The potential ‘sherlocking’ of Arc raises broader questions about Apple’s relationship with third-party developers. Some argue that Apple’s practice of incorporating features from third-party apps stifles innovation and competition. Others defend Apple, arguing that the company’s integration of popular features benefits consumers by making them more accessible.

Whether or not Apple ultimately ‘sherlocks’ Arc, the situation highlights the challenges faced by third-party developers in an ecosystem dominated by a few powerful players. It remains to be seen how this dynamic will evolve as AI continues to reshape the tech landscape.


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