DuckDuckGo announced this morning that its privacy-centric web browser app is now officially available via open beta test to all Mac users. First debuted back in April, the default incognito browser was originally only available via a waitlisted closed beta, but now any Apple device owner can download the alternative option to try ahead of its official public rollout.
According to the official news release, DuckDuckGo for Mac’s built-in safeguards include the ability to block trackers before they even load, reportedly resulting in around 60 percent less data usage than Chrome. Other features include prerequisite pop-up blockers and DuckDuckGo’s popular “Fire Button” shortcut, which can instantly clear your existing browser data.
[Related: 7 tips for using DuckDuckGo.]
Another major addition to “version 0.30” is Duck Player, an adorably named portal that guards users from cookies and targeted ad tracking while they stream YouTube content. According to DuckDuckGo, Duck Player sometimes actually prevented any ads from playing at all. Your views will still add towards YouTube’s overall viewership counts, but at least you don’t have to worry about all those personalized commercials. The browser now also includes bookmarks and pinned tabs, as well as a way to look at “locally stored” browsing history.
Back in August, DuckDuckGo opened up its beta email service to the public, which is designed to minimize companies’ email trackers that are often sneakily hidden within messages for targeted advertising purposes and profit. Apart from its actual utility, the fact that you can now get an email address ending in “@duck.com” is pretty great, in and of itself.
The curious among you can download the beta browser now, which can also port over all your existing bookmarks, as well as any passwords you’re comfortable having stored on DuckDuckGo’s native secure vault. There’s also the option to utilize its collaboration with the open-source manager, Bitwarden, or even 1Password‘s new universal autofill feature. Windows users aren’t forgotten, by the way—DuckDuckGo’s announcement today promises a private beta test for Team PC is “expected in the coming months,” so be on the lookout for that, too.
Update 10/18/23: This article has been updated to better reflect DuckDuckGo’s browser password features.