Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

DuckDuckGo’s new web browser won’t rely on any Chrome technology

DuckDuckGo, the popular privacy-focused search engine, is developing its own desktop browser, as reported by ZDNet. However, what will make DuckDuckGo’s browser unique from other “privacy browsers” is that it won’t be based on Chromium. It’s the latest product from the company encouraging users to switch from Google products such as Chrome.

Pretty much every popular desktop browser is based on Chromium, an open-source project that powers Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and many others.

We can't wait for what's to come in 2022. Look out for our new desktop app, which brings the privacy & speed of our mobile app (finally!) to desktop. First look is here.

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) December 21, 2021

So if the company isn’t using Chromium, what will it use? Well, according to Allison Johnson, in an interview with The Verge, shed some light on their plans. She said:

“MacOS and Windows both now offer website rendering APIs (WebView/WebView2) that any application can use to render a website. That’s what we’ve used to build our app on desktop.”

In layman’s terms, DuckDuckGo is developing native apps for the major operating systems that essentially run a browser inside them. Building the app from the ground up lets the company optimize the app for the system while leaving behind all the bloat that has accumulated on Chromium over the years. You can find a more thorough explanation of WebView here.

However, that means developing multiple apps to get the most optimized experience on each operating system. Chromium, on the other hand, can work all the major operating systems. Developing fully native apps requires even more manpower, something Microsoft learned the hard way with Microsoft Edge.

That being said, DuckDuckGo has quite a bit of traction. The search engine has exploded in popularity, and now upward of 9% of the U.S. population uses it over Google.

Product improvements have fueled our growth, making DuckDuckGo the most downloaded browsing app on Android in our major markets, #2 on iOS, and resulting in 150M+ downloads of our apps & extensions since 2018.

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) December 21, 2021

The company is also open about its antagonism to Google. The CEO, Gabriel Weinberg, talks about it a lot on Twitter. It has also introduced features in its mobile app that undercut Google’s data collection efforts. The app turns off app tracking, which stops data miners like Facebook and Google from collecting data while you use other apps.

With so much traction, building a dedicated browser seems like a natural next step for the company. Weinberg seems confident about it too. “… compared to Chrome, “ he says, “the DuckDuckGo app for desktop is cleaner, way more private, and early tests have found it significantly faster too!”

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Clark
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Caleb Clark is a full-time writer that primarily covers consumer tech and gaming. He also writes frequently on Medium about…
Google Chrome has a secret feature to make it match Windows 11’s new design
Google Chrome opened on a laptop.

One of the signature features of Windows 11 is the new rounded corners and glass-like mica effects. Usually only found in Microsoft and select third-party Windows apps, these design elements are now making their way into Google Chrome but are still hidden secret behind a flag in Chrome's settings.

Once the secret flag is enabled, Chrome on Windows 11 fits in better with the rest of the new operating system. Right-click menus in Chrome change from squared off to more rounded, and also pick up the modern mica effect. In addition, Chrome's pop-out settings menu changes to a more rounded shape, fitting better with native Windows elements like the Start Menu and Quick Actions pop-out.

Read more
Microsoft Edge’s new Performance Mode could make it a more powerful web browser
microsoft edge gets startup boost feature take on chrome new

Microsoft Edge could be getting a bit of a performance boost. Now in testing with the Canary version of the web browser is a new "Performance Mode" option, which helps optimize your browsing experience for speed and efficiency.

Though the feature is currently hidden away in Edge Canary Build 91.0.856.0, Microsoft's official in-browser description for the feature seems quite promising.

Read more
Microsoft Edge’s new Kids Mode is the must-have feature it’s been missing
microsoft edge 90 gets kids mode browse safe hero km blog image

Current solutions to limiting a child's screen time, locking down websites, and creating a safe browsing space can be quite cumbersome. You might need to pay for software like Norton Family Premiere, use an app like Kaspersky Safe Kids, or manually set up and manage family accounts in Google Chrome,

Microsoft has heard those complaints and is now looking to help make the web a safer place for kids. Coming in Microsoft Edge version 90, which is now available as a free update, is a new exclusive feature known as Kids Mode.

Read more