The world of mobile search is about to get a bit more anonymous.
Private search engine DuckDuckGo has officially launched its app for iOS and Android, a move that should make many privacy-obsessed mobile users very, very happy.
The release comes as DuckDuckGo continues to break its own search records, thanks in part to fears over government surveillance and corporate tracking. “Privacy is perhaps more important on mobile than on the web, and we haven’t had many private alternatives,” DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg told me. (Privacy nuts will also be glad to hear that future version of DuckDuckGo will support anonymous browsing via Tor.)
But DuckDuckGo’s mobile app is more than just search: The other half to the release is “Stories”, a feature that is part of DuckDuckGo’s ongoing attempt to help people counter the”filter bubbles” created by modern search engines.
“Search apps just aren’t opened a lot — even for the big guys, so we wanted to build an app that did a little bit more. We want people to open up the app when they have a few minutes at the train station,” Weinberg said.
The big idea here for DuckDuckGo — or any search engine hoping to compete with Google, for that matter — is making the search experience so compelling Google that users don’t have to choose between search quality and privacy. This is part of why features like autocomplete, which DuckDuckGo’s mobile apps feature, are so important: The better private search gets, the easier it will be for people to make the switch.