DuckDuckGo is working on a desktop web browser

DuckDuckGo is working on a desktop web browser

DuckDuckGo started as a search engine with the goal of enhanced privacy over Google and Bing, but it has slowly expanded to other areas. There’s a DuckDuckGo mobile browser with built-in privacy protection, a filter for email messages, and more. Now it seems the company is finally expanding its mobile browser to the desktop, though you’ll have to wait a while longer to try it out.

DuckDuckGo announced in its yearly roundup that the company is working on a desktop web browser, to complement the existing DuckDuckGo applications already available on iOS and Android. The post revealed, “like we’ve done on mobile, DuckDuckGo for desktop will redefine user expectations of everyday online privacy. No complicated settings, no misleading warnings, no ‘levels’ of privacy protection – just robust privacy protection that works by default, across search, browsing, email, and more. It’s not a ‘privacy browser’; it’s an everyday browsing app that respects your privacy because there’s never a bad time to stop companies from spying on your search and browsing history.”

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The browser won’t be based on Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome, like most popular alternative web browsers (including Brave, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi). DuckDuckGo will instead use the rendering engine provided by the operating system it’s running on, just like the existing mobile apps — which should be Edge Chromium (WebView2) on Windows and WebKit (Safari) on macOS. DuckDuckGo says “early tests have found it significantly faster” than Chrome, and using the operating system’s own engine means DuckDuckGo won’t be responsible for quickly patching security vulnerabilities, but it also means the browser won’t be as feature-packed as Chrome or Edge.

DuckDuckGo didn’t mention a specific time frame for the release of the desktop web browser, but the company’s Twitter account said “we can’t wait for what’s to come in 2022.” Now that Microsoft is pushing Edge on Windows users again (and adding bloat), and Brave Browser is still shady, we could use more choices in web browsers. Firefox remains an excellent option for most people, with sync across desktop and mobile, but DuckDuckGo appeared to take a jab at the browser with “no ‘levels’ of privacy protection” — a possible reference to Firefox’s Enhanecd Tracking Protection.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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