DuckDuckGo offers a first look at its desktop web browser

It's promising to bring the 'privacy, speed and simplicity' of its mobile app to computers.


DuckDuckGo has offered an early peek at its upcoming desktop app. In a blog post that recaps the company's year, CEO Gabriel Weinberg looked toward the future as well. He said DuckDuckGo will bring the privacy protections the company is known for to the app. You can expect the speed and simplicity of its mobile app too.

"Robust privacy protection" will be enabled by default for search, browsing, email and more. Weinberg said the app isn't a "privacy browser" per se, but rather "an everyday browsing app that respects your privacy."

As it did on mobile, DuckDuckGo is building the app using OS-provided rendering engines instead of basing it on projects like Chromium. According to Weinberg, that helped the development team to "strip away a lot of the unnecessary cruft and clutter that’s accumulated over the years in major browsers."

Along with a streamlined interface and the Fire Button (which closes all tabs and wipes browsing data in a single tap), the DuckDuckGo desktop is cleaner and much more private than Chrome, Weinberg said. He also claimed it's "significantly faster" than Google's browser, based on early tests — here's hoping it's less of a memory hog than Chrome too. DuckDuckGo didn't reveal when it plans to release the desktop app.

Weinberg notes that, over the last 12 months, DuckDuckGo has bolstered its search and tracker blocking features. He said DuckDuckGo's mobile app is now the most downloaded Android browser in key markets. In July, the company announced a free email forwarding service that removes tracking pixels from messages.