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DuckDuckGo’s web browser will not rely on any Chrome technology

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

Almost all popular desktop browsers are based on Chromium, an open source project that powers Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and many more.

We can’t wait for what’s to come in 2022. Look for our new desktop app, which brings privacy & speed of our mobile application (finally!) on the desktop. The first look is here. pic.twitter.com/C6kgtCthAo

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) December 21, 2021

So if the company is not using Chromium, what will it be using? Well, according to Allison Johnson, in a interview with The Verge, sheds light on their plans. She says:

“MacOS and Windows now offer website rendering APIs (WebView/WebView2) that any app can use to render a website. This is what we used to build our desktop app.”

Simply put, DuckDuckGo develops native apps for major operating systems that basically run a browser inside. Building the app from scratch allows the company to optimize the app for the system while leaving behind all the bloat that has accumulated on Chromium over the years. You can find a explanation of WebView here.

However, this means developing multiple apps to get the most optimized experience on each operating system. Chromium, on the other hand, can work with all major operating systems. Developing fully native apps is even more labor intensive, 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 over 9% of the US population uses it on Google.

Product enhancements have fueled our growth, making DuckDuckGo the most downloaded navigation app on Android in our core markets, #2 on iOS, and resulting in over 150 million downloads of our apps & extensions since 2018.https://t.co/gWuqYgjPRJ

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) December 21, 2021

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

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

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