DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused engine that has lent a sneak-preview of its soon-to-be-released desktop “browsing app” that it assures it customers will have simple default privacy settings. When recapping the achievements or milestones that DuckDuckGo had achieved in 2021, CEO Gabriel Weinberg highlighted the company’s desktop browser, while stating that its all-in-one privacy apps had over 150 million downloads for, iOS, Android, as well as Chromium extensions. He goes on to further distinguish the company’s app from the likes of Mozilla Firefox, and Chromium-based Brave, as not just a “privacy browser.” Alternatively, he stated that it’s a browser that offers default “robust privacy protection,” and works uniformly across browsing, search, email, etc.
In a cheeky statement, he implies that it’s an everyday browser that not only respects but safeguards your privacy, as its never a bad time to prevent companies from spying on your browsing and search history. He offered a few hints concerning the internals governing the DuckDuckGo browser, or “app” as he refers to it, but does tend to leave out a sizeable amount of much needed information. He even stated that it would not be based on Chromium, the open-source project that underpins Google Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, as well as about 30 other browsers. Instead of DuckDuckGo forking chromium or any other project, they intend on building their desktop app around the OS provided rendering engines (just like on mobile), allowing them to strip away any clutter or cruft that accumulated in major browsers over the years, he explained.
It wasn’t very clear what desktop OS-provided engines he was referring to, however, it isn’t a trivial accomplishment to build a desktop browser without Chromium’s Blink rendering engine. Apple uses WebKit for Safari on Desktop, and even requires all non-Safari browsers on iOS, to use WebKit on iOS. When asked for further clarification, DuckDuckGo’s communication manager Allison Johnson stated, “We’re building the desktop app from the ground up around the OS-provided rendering APIs. This means that anything beyond website rendering, we have to build ourselves.”
When DuckDuckGo releases its new desktop browser, the CEO, Weinberg, assures his clientele that in comparison to Chrome, the DuckDuckGo app will be a cleaner, far more private browser, with early tests indicating that it will be much faster as well.