For the last few weeks I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine, not just on my Mac but also on my iPhone.
The iPhone app in particular was a delightful eye-opener.
Previously, I’d been finding the official Google Search app rather disappointing. It was slow, and full of extra stuff I didn’t want. When Google first appeared in the 1990s, it was different because it didn’t have all the extra stuff: just web search.
DuckDuckGo has the same feel as those early Google searches. It’s fast, it’s accurate, it just does the search you need and gets the hell out of your way.
What’s more (if things like this bother you), it doesn’t track or store your search history, and doesn’t wrap up your searching in a bubble of data aggregated from everything else it knows about you. There’s no DuckDuckGo social network, no DuckDuckGo Likes or +1s. It’s search, and nothing but search. And that makes a nice change, to be honest.
The search results are nicely done, too. Often, the answer you need is shown in the “Zero-click” summary at the top of the results page, derived from sources like Wolfram Alpha and Wikipedia.
The DuckDuckGo search app is free in the App Store. Recommended.