After six months in private beta, the DuckDuckGo for Mac open beta is now available to anyone interested in checking out this privacy-focused web browser.
“Forget going ‘incognito’ with other browsers that don’t actually deliver substantive web tracking protection,” the DuckDuckGo announcement notes, alluding to recent news about Google employees admitting that Chrome’s Incognito mode is anything but. “You deserve privacy all the time, with built-in protections that make the Internet less creepy and less cluttered.”
DuckDuckGo for Mac is a new web browser that blocks trackers before they load, and the firm claims that it uses 60 percent less data than Chrome as a result. It includes multiple layers of defense against third-party trackers, secure link upgrading with Smarter Encryption, and a Fire Button to instantly clear recent browsing data.
Since the closed beta release in April, DuckDuckGo for Mac also gained additional features, including a bookmarks bar, pinned tabs, and a way to view your locally stored browsing history, and its Cookie Consent Pop-Up Manager has been updated to handle cookie pop-ups on many more sites than before.
And for the open beta, DuckDuckGo is adding more features, like a cleaner, distraction-free YouTube experience that blocks targeted ads and cookies and uses YouTube’s strictest privacy settings for embedded video. (It doesn’t block all YouTube ads.) Its ad-blocking functionality now eliminates the wasted space left behind by blocked ads, which sounds like a fantastic idea, and its built-in password manager has been improved with Bitwarden integration if you’d prefer to use that service.
Interestingly, DuckDuckGo for Mac is not based on Chromium. Instead, the firm says that all of its code is written by its own engineers and it uses a public macOS API, making it very compatible with Mac. DuckDuckGo says it will open-source its apps and extensions “whenever possible,” and it plans to do so for DuckDuckGo for Mac before it comes out of beta.
And yes, Windows fans, a version for Windows is on the way as well. A private beta is expected “in the coming months.” There are no plans for a Linux version.