DuckDuckGo launches Mac app in beta

DuckDuckGo has launched a beta version of their browser app for Mac and is planning an upcoming launch of a Windows version.

The new Mac app comes with DuckDuckGo’s search engine, a built-in password manager, tracker blocking and Smarter Encryption, a tool that accesses the secure, HTTPS version of a webpage (most of the time). DuckDuckGo for Mac protects against cookie pop-ups (currently on half of sites, but DuckDuckGo says this will increase in beta) and also includes email protection, an email forwarding feature that removes trackers from emails. It also allows users to view tracking attempts and delete data stored on different websites.

The company claims that by blocking trackers, its browser runs quickly and minimizes data usage and it also says that it won’t have access to data from the app, including passwords and browser history, but that instead, this data will remain on your device.

For those looking to give DuckDuckGo a test run, there is a private waitlist, which you can join through the mobile app by going into Settings, then DuckDuckGo for Desktop, and clicking “Join the Private Waitlist.” Users will receive a notification with an invite code through the app, and DuckDuckGo said it’s inviting people from the waitlist in batches.

The Mac app does not yet support extensions — so if you’re using an ad blocker, you won’t be able to use it in this browser. DuckDuckGo does come with a tracker blocker, which blocks some ads, but not all. DuckDuckGo says it will open source its Mac browser once it comes out of beta, as it did with its mobile apps.

Aiming to simplify online privacy, DuckDuckGo started with a secure search engine before releasing a mobile browser app in 2013, before revamping it in 2018. DuckDuckGo counts the downloads, which are now over 150 million, from 2018. They are now bringing that browser to desktops. “Like our mobile app, DuckDuckGo for Mac is an all-in-one privacy solution for everyday browsing with no complicated settings, just a seamless private experience,” product director Beah Burger-Lenehan said in a blog post.