Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo today launched a beta web browser for Mac users.
DuckDuckGo, the company best known for its privacy-focused search engine of the same name, is working on a desktop browser that should bring the same focus on avoiding being tracked to your entire web experience.
In a new blog post, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg offers a glimpse at what the upcoming browser will look like and notes that we can expect it to perform the same way its browsing app does on mobile.
DuckDuckGo for Mac isn’t simply a replacement for ‘Incognito mode,'” the company said. “Instead (the app) is designed to be used as an everyday browser that truly protects your privacy.”
The Mac app includes a built-in private search engine, a tracker blocker and other features to improve browsing privacy. The app also improves security while browsing with its Smarter Encryption feature, which redirects you to the encrypted version of websites via forced HTTPS.
The browsing experience is expected to be fast, with DuckDuckGo claiming it’s “already faster than Chrome” on some graphics performance benchmarks, while using about 60 percent less data simply because it blocks a lot of trackers automatically. It doesn’t skimp on expected features, either, offering bookmarks, tab management, a password manager, and additional privacy features if you want to fine tune the protection.
Because the app is in beta, you have to join a private waitlist in order to access it. Here’s how to join the waitlist from the DuckDuckGo mobile app:
1. Open the mobile app and make sure you’re using the latest version.
2. Tap Settings.
3. Tap DuckDuckGo for Desktop.
4. Tap Join the Private Waitlist. If you’re selected you’ll be notified in the app. You’ll be given an invite code and a link to a download page to be opened on your desktop or laptop.
Once you download the app, you might run into some bugs, but you can send feedback to DuckDuckGo by going to Settings in the browser app and clicking Send Feedback.
DuckDuckGo said there isn’t a timeline yet for when the Mac app will see a wider release since the app is just now in beta. Weinberg tweeted Tuesday that a Windows app will likely be available sometime this year.