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DuckDuckGo comes to browse on Mac

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Users more concerned than others about going out on the web with a browser loaded with functions to protect themselves from all kinds of tracking have a new candidate: DuckDuckGo for Mac.

Already available on iOS, the browser is coming to macOS. A version for Windows is developed in parallel but it is less successful for the moment. Another for Linux is not excluded, but once these first two projects have been completed.

Clarification: this new browser is still in private beta, you must register in the mobile app (free) to join the waiting list and receive a download link (go to settings then DuckDuckGo Desktop App). We will certainly be warned by a notification since no e-mail is requested. And it’s a good way to get a few more installs for the mobile app.

This DuckDuckGo for Mac preferred to take WebKit for its rendering engine, unlike Brave designed by a former Mozilla who set his sights on Chromium. Choosing to use the same engine as Safari ensures good compatibility with macOS. For the rest – the functions and the interface – it is the developers of DuckDuckGo who are in charge. Once the first version is finalized, they plan to offer the fruit of their work in open source, just as it was done with the iOS and Android versions.

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Its designers naturally insist on privacy protection functions and on the attraction of browsing that is less likely to be tracked by the sites visited and their trackers. The browser will endeavor to manage alone the windows for depositing cookies which have abounded since the implementation of the GDPR. The first time, DuckDuckGo will ask the user what type of response they want to give to these requests and it will take care of the next ones to come, transparently. At the current stage of development, the browser would know how to respond to about half of these pop-ups on its own, which therefore no longer blocks entry to a page.

DuckDuckGo for Mac is also advertised as fast as it can prevent trackers from loading instead of just blocking them afterwards. It checks if the visited page offers an encrypted version of its access and automatically offers it if this is not the case. And as on the mobile version, it highlights a button that deletes, at once, the data stored by the websites and all the tabs still open.

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Being still in development, DuckDuckGo for Mac is not without functional shortcomings that can delay its daily use. For example it does not yet manage extensions. Its developers believe that the most popular are those that block trackers or ads and those that rely on password managers.

For the former, the browser has its built-in functions that perform most of these services. For the latter, it offers its own integrated manager capable of importing passwords from 1Password, LastPass and other browsers on the market. It does the same for bookmark lists. This manager must still see the light of day on the mobile version, and only then a synchronization option between platforms will be possible (synchro of bookmarks included).

The favorites bar is also missing for the time being, as is a detailed history of the sites visited (other than through the list of trackers they have activated). So many common things in other browsers but that the browser will receive as it develops. Browsing protection features took precedence.

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