Update 04/12/22: The DuckDuckGo browser for macOS has been released, but is currently available for a waiting list of beta testers.
DuckDuckGo started with a simple idea: a search engine site that respects your privacy. It doesn’t remember your searches, store information about you, embed trackers, or violate your privacy in any other way.
It works well and became very popular, so the company wanted to take it a step further. First, it created a mobile browser for iOS and Android that’s just as privacy-conscious as the search engine with a nifty fire button that instantly “burns” all your data and local history. It applies encryption, blocks hidden trackers, etc. Now it launches a Mac browser and you can be among the first to test it.
In a blog post, DuckDuckGo detailed its first attempt at a full desktop browser for Mac. It’s worth noting that it says the browser is “already faster than Chrome on some graphics performance” (which is no small feat) and includes “password management, tab management, bookmarks, etc.”. DuckDuckGo also plans many future features, including an integrated ad blocker and a password manager.
The DuckDuckGo browser forgoes the Chromium engine for Apple’s Webkit and builds everything else from scratch. As he explains:
We use the rendering engine that comes with macOS, which is made by Apple and the same rendering engine that Safari uses. Relying on the macOS rendering engine, our browser should also be the most compatible with the Mac system (the same as Safari). Technically, we don’t need to “fork” any code to do this – we just call an API provided by macOS.
To sign up for the beta, you need to download the DuckDuckGo mobile app (or update to the latest version), open Settings > DuckDuckGo for desktop (in the “More DuckDuckGo” section), then tap “Join the private waitlist.” When you receive an invite code, you’ll receive a notification from the app that redirects you to an invite code and a link to the download page.