DuckDuckGo offers a first look at its desktop web browser


DuckDuckGo has had an early look at the upcoming desktop app. In a blog post summarizing the company’s year, CEO Gabriel Weinberg also looked to the future. He said DuckDuckGo will bring the privacy protections the company is known for to the app. You can also expect the speed and simplicity of the mobile app.

Robust Privacy Protection is enabled by default for search, browsing, email, and more. Weinberg said the app isn’t a “privacy browser” per se, but rather “an everyday browser app that respects your privacy.”

Just like on mobile, DuckDuckGo builds the app using OS-provided rendering engines rather than basing it on projects like Chromium. According to Weinberg, that helped the development team “clean out a lot of unnecessary clutter and clutter that has accumulated over the years in major browsers.”

Along with a streamlined interface and the Fire Button (which closes all tabs and clears browsing data with a single tap), the DuckDuckGo desktop is cleaner and much more personal than Chrome, Weinberg said. He also claimed it’s “significantly faster” than Google’s browser, based on early testing — I hope it’s less of a memory hog than Chrome, too. DuckDuckGo has not disclosed when it plans to release the desktop app.

Weinberg notes that DuckDuckGo has been beefing up its search and tracker blocking features over the past 12 months. He said DuckDuckGo’s mobile app is now the most downloaded Android browser in major markets. In July, the company announced a free email forwarding service that removes tracking pixels from messages.

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