DuckDuckGo Integrates Apple Maps Into Search Results

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 21 Comments

Search engine DuckDuckGo announced today that it has licensed Apple Maps for its map- and address-related search results on both mobile and desktop.

“We’re excited to work closely with Apple to set a new standard of trust online, and we hope you’ll enjoy this update,” a new post to the DuckDuckGo news blog reads. “We can now offer users improved address searches, additional visual features, enhanced satellite imagery, and continually updated maps.”

DuckDuckGo, which bills itself as a privacy-friendly alternative to Google Search, says it is one of the very first companies to use Apple MapKit JS, a web-based framework for using Apple Maps-powered maps on the web. And it has deeply integrated Apple Maps into its own service: These maps are available from the Maps tab, of course, but also embedded in the service’s private search results.

“At DuckDuckGo, we believe getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds,” the service explains. “Naturally, our strict privacy policy of not collecting or sharing any personal information extends to this integration. We do not send any personally identifiable information such as IP address to Apple or other third parties. For local searches, where your approximate location information is sent by your browser to us, we discard it immediately after use. You are still anonymous when you perform map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo.”

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “DuckDuckGo Integrates Apple Maps Into Search Results”

  1. dcdevito

    Is this the first time Apple maps is accessible outside Apple exclusive hardware?

  2. Andi

    Two turkeys don't make an eagle.

  3. spullum

    I wonder why they chose Apple Maps over something like OpenStreetMap? Maybe they don’t have a full-privacy API. Hopefully they will add one and DDG can offer multiple map options.

    Unsure if Microsoft would allow Bing Maps to be used this way either.

  4. Pbike908

    I've been using DDG on my windows computer for over a year. Works great...not as good as Google so I occasionally use Google. I haven't used bing since I started using DDG.

    I do use Google on my Android phone as one can't beat the integration especially Google maps.

  5. robincapper

    Looking at my local area, in New Zealand, to see literally thousands of mislabeled "roads" on the map which don't exist except as private driveways. No wheel zoom support in Chrome? No thanks Apple, Google, Bing/Here and even Open Street maps do it better

  6. HellcatM

    I use DDG browser, I guess I'll now uninstall it. I'm guessing they may be bought by apple soon.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to HellcatM:

      Why would Apple buy DuckDuckGo? This is simply the latter using an API toolkit developed by the former. Anyone can use it if they are willing to pay the query fees.

      (Or work out a deal with Apple if they go over the free limit...I’m guessing DuckDuckGo is being comp’ed additional capacity. I’m not even fully sure if you have to pay. I don’t think most sites would go over the free limits.)

  7. provision l-3

    I have been using DDG as my default search engine for a few years now and have found it to be rather capable. Hopefully this will make it more useful.

  8. Daekar

    Hopefully Apple Maps has improved enough that this isn't a liability. I would love to see DuckDuckGo grab more market share.

    • ommoran

      In reply to Daekar:

      I think the biggest damper on increasing DDG's market share is... their name. It's hard to convince Normies that DDG is a real alternative when the name sounds ridiculously childlike.

      Then again, I'm one of the 12 people that use Bing - which is as silly, but easier to pronounce.

      • Rycott

        In reply to ommoran:

        Google isn't a ridiculous name?

        • Jackwagon

          In reply to Rycott:

          It may have been considered ridiculous once upon a time, but most people don't give it a second thought, because it's the incumbent.

          • IanYates82

            In reply to Jackwagon:

            Yep, back in the day when Google was new, it was competing against Lycos, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, WebCrawler and others I've probably happily forgotten.

            There was DogPile which would do the search across all of the engines and favour results that were found in a few of them - it even had a desktop app :) I think Symantec had a product to do this too for a little while.

            Google was just as silly a name as the others but it worked so well that the others were quickly forgotten.

            Windows Live Search is a much worse name than "Bing". MS were hoping we'd all say "go Bing it" like we happily say "go Google it" but that'll *never* happen. That Hawaii Five O episode where they tried to casually drop Bing into general chit-chat at a crime scene put that plan to rest forever.

            Finally caught up with the "Get Out" movie last week. I reckon it's probably the last movie we'll see that had Microsoft branded phones in it :(

  9. yoshi

    This is actually pretty cool to see. I might have to give DuckDuckGo a spin.

  10. ejuly

    I only use DDG or Bing and have always found what I needed. Given that I do more research than most people - people where I work and students I work with are always amazed. I tell them I am still waiting for any survey research that shows Google is better than the rest - then they send me stuff about how Google is the most used.

    Their response shows how people use Google and most search engines - not very well IMHO.