Update 04/12/22: The DuckDuckGo browser for macOS has been released, but is currently available to a waitlist of beta testers.
DuckDuckGo started as a simple idea: A search engine site that respects your privacy. It doesn’t remember your searches, store information about you, embed trackers, or in any other way violate your privacy.
It works well and has become quite popular, so the company wanted to go further. First, it built a mobile browser for iOS and Android that’s just as privacy-minded as the search engine with has a nifty Fire Button that instantly “burns” all your data and local history. It enforces encryption, blocks hidden trackers, and more. Now it’s launching a Mac browser and you can be among the first to test it.
In a blog post, DuckDuckGo has detailed its first attempt at a full desktop browser for the Mac. Of note, 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, and more.” DuckDuckGo is also planning numerous future features, including a built-in ad blocker and password manager.
The DuckDuckGo browser forgoes the Chromium engine for Apple’s Webkit and built everything else from scratch. As it explains:
We use the rendering engine that comes with macOS, which is created by Apple and the same rendering engine Safari uses. By building off the macOS rendering engine, our browser should also be most compatible with the Mac system (the same as Safari). Technically, we don’t have 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 from DuckDuckGo” section), and then tap “Join the Private Waitlist.” When you’re granted an invite code, you’ll get a notification from the app that will take you to an invite code and a link to the download page.