DuckDuckGo for Mac Comes with New Privacy Features

DuckDuckGo announced on October 18, 2022, that the beta version of its Mac desktop app is now available for all Mac users. 

DuckDuckGo is a browser that focuses on privacy. It has many new features designed to make web browsing more private and less cluttered, improving the user experience. DuckDuckGo generates objective results without any subjective factors or “user preferences.”

The intent of DuckDuckGo for Mac is to replace “incognito” modes in other browsers that do not fully protect against web tracking. DuckDuckGo’s app for Mac uses roughly 60% less data than Chrome because trackers are blocked before they are loaded. In addition, the app has advanced privacy protection features pre-configured and activated by default to improve the user’s experience.

What’s New

Despite being in beta, DuckDuckGo for Mac has added several updated features since it was released in April 2022. The most significant change is that version 0.30 does not leave blank spaces in place of blocked ads, allowing users to browse without distractions.

Duck Player

Duck Player is one of the exciting highlights of this announcement. The Duck player provides a more private way to watch YouTube videos. This embedded YouTube player prevents the platform from building an advertising profile for users. Using Duck Player will reduce targeted ads and distractions. However, users can switch seamlessly between Duck Player and standard YouTube.

Password Management

There’s a secure password manager in DuckDuckGo’s browser. Like most password managers, DuckDuckGo’s password manager stores and fills in login credentials automatically. However, DuckDuckGo has partnered with Bitwarden, a password manager that’s open-source. Bitwarden users can look forward to activating a new password manager integration through the browser’s settings in the coming weeks. Additionally, DuckDuckGo for Mac now works with 1Password’s universal autofill.

Email protection

DuckDuckGo’s new version of the browser also offers email protection. Users who activate DuckDuckGo’s email protection will be able to protect their email inbox with email tracker blocking and private addresses.

Cookie Pop-Up Manager

The Cookie Consent Pop-Up Manager manages cookie pop-ups much more effectively. The pop-up manager will automatically select the most private option to minimize cookies on various websites. The pop-up manager allows users to browse the internet without being interrupted by annoying pop-ups asking about cookie permissions.

Currently, DuckDuckGo for Windows is in its early beta with testing through family and friends.  A  private waitlist for the Windows DuckDuckGo app in beta is expected to be publically released soon.

Overall, DuckDuckGo’s desktop app for Mac is an exciting new development that offers a more private and less cluttered web browsing experience. The app has several unique features that make it an appealing option for a more secure and private browsing experience. Although the application is still in its early stages of development, it has shown promise as a more privacy-conscious alternative to other web browsers.


Firefox 106 Update: What’s New and Improved

On October 18, 2022, Firefox 106 Stable and Firefox 102.4 ESR were released to the public.

New features

A new Colorways theme, Firefox view, PDF editing, text recognition, and extraction on macOS are all included in the most recent Firefox Stable release.

While Firefox 106 introduces several brand-new features, the version also resolves security concerns. Mozilla corrected six unique vulnerabilities in Firefox 106 and four vulnerabilities in Firefox 102.4 ESR.

Firefox view

One of the most notable new features is Firefox view. The accessibility of previously opened tabs in the web browser is improved with Firefox view. However, Firefox view also enables users to access tabs from desktop or Android Firefox browsers. This distinct feature will allow users to switch between devices, making it a more convenient browsing experience. Firefox View has three sections: Tab pickup, Recently closed, and Independent voices. However, if consumers are not interested in Firefox View, it is simple to disable it. Users can right-click the Firefox symbol in the browser’s upper left corner and select “Remove from Toolbar.”

Tab Pickup

A Firefox account is necessary to use the tab pickup function. Mozilla uses Firefox Sync to display recently visited pages on other devices within this section. The title, favicon, URL, time stamp, and name of the device the user used to view the tab are all displayed. Additionally, a context menu is visible by right-clicking on a tab. This capability also imports tabs from previous versions of Firefox on the same device. This unique feature allows users to pick up where they left off reading from their phone, tablet, or computer.

Recently Closed

The recently closed section displays the most recent tabs that have been closed in the current window. Details about the closed tab are shown here, such as its title, URL, favicon, and timestamp. Unfortunately, there is no ability to conceal specific closed tabs. However, the arrow button allows you to collapse the recently closed tabs section.

Users can also recover closed tabs by left-clicking. This functionality is helpful if users mistakenly close a tab. However, because recently closed tabs are not synced between devices, Firefox will only show the tabs that were closed in the current browser. Therefore, when users close a tab and exit the browser, the tab is not recoverable through the recently closed section.


Firefox users can alter themes, set intensity, and apply themes with one click by enabling Colorways to provide a customizable browsing experience. There are eighteen new themes currently available through January 16, 2023.

PDF Viewer

Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer supports basic PDF editing with version 106 Stable. In addition, the integrated options allow users to write, draw, and add signatures to PDF documents opened in Firefox.

Features for macOS

Users of macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later can benefit from text recognition and extraction. Unfortunately, the feature currently only supports English on macOS 10.15. However, macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) or later support a more comprehensive range of languages. Users can right-click the image and select “Copy Text from Image.”

Following the text recognition prompt, a modal box with a loading animation will analyze the text in the image and automatically copy the text. Additionally, VoiceOver is also compatible with text recognition.


In the 106 release, Mozilla made sure to include improvements for developers.

Developers can expect several new features, including improvements to the WebRTC platform and manifest key properties. In addition, the upgrade improves screen sharing on Windows and Linux Wayland, lowers CPU usage, and increases macOS screen capture FPS.


Most versions of Firefox will update automatically. However, users can see what version of Firefox they are using by going to the menu and selecting Help > About Firefox and manually upgrade. As of right now, the release date for Firefox 107 Stable is November 11, 2022.

Overall, Firefox 106 adds a slew of new features and enhancements for all users. Whether you’re a casual user or a developer, this update has something for everyone. Check out all of the new features that Firefox has to offer.


Microsoft Edge Improves Performance

Engineers at Microsoft recently announced performance improvements for their Edge browser.  A blog post that the company published recently explained how.

A blog post from the company explained how:

“Beginning with Microsoft Edge 102 on Windows, Microsoft Edge automatically compresses disk caches on devices that meet eligibility checks, to ensure the compression will be beneficial without degrading performance.

This ensures compression of these caches largely improves performance and overall user experience.

One way we can maximize cache usage while minimizing disk usage is by leveraging compression to save disk space for the cached content.  Since the contents in these cache(s) are often highly compressible, compression results in increasing the likelihood that the requested resource can be fetched from the disk.”

In our view, this is a great move.  Many people set up their systems with a large disk cache, allowing their web browser to store vast amounts of information for faster recall later.

The problem is that disk space is not unlimited, and if it’s at a premium on your system, compression neatly solves the problem.  The system can still store vast amounts of web data so it can be recalled more quickly later but until that happens, it saves on space by compressing it.

This change comes on the heels of another that the company rolled out some months ago. That change introduced improvements to the way the Edge browser used memory and CPU power.  In that case, the company “put unused browser tabs to sleep” which resulted in an average reduction of CPU usage of 37 percent while simultaneously reducing memory usage by 32 percent.  Those are solid numbers.

Best of all, the company says they’re still not done.  On deck are improvements to the Edge browser’s security, which will include features that should help to minimize the risk of undiscovered zero-day vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Kudos to Microsoft.  These are excellent changes that greatly improve the browser.

Firefox 105.0 Update, The End of Low Memory Crashes and Other Features

The most recent version of Firefox, version 105, was made available for download on September 20, 2022. This version is a minor update that does not offer as many new features as previous versions.

However, the most striking improvement in Firefox 105 is that Mozilla has drastically decreased the number of out-of-memory browser crashes the Windows and Linux users experience.

When the system’s memory becomes low, the improved protection guarantees that the browser’s primary process is not disrupted. In addition, to free up RAM, Firefox 105 will stop content processes in pages that have not been used for an extended period. When the content processes are terminated, only the webpage, rather than the entire browser, becomes unresponsive.

Mozilla’s software developers have also improved the browser’s performance in several ways. Firefox 105 supports multi-finger gestures that allow users to quickly and easily switch between touchpad platforms. There have also been enhancements made to the touchpad scrolling experience on macOS. A new printing option has been added that enables users to print directly from the current page without printing excessive irrelevant information.

Mozilla offers some developer-focused improvements, including optimizing searching in large arrays. This enhancement, along with others in Firefox 105, is aimed at increasing the functionality and efficiency of developers. Furthermore, Firefox 105 Stable resolves seven security concerns classified by Firefox as high vulnerabilities.

On September 23, 2022, Mozilla released an update, Firefox 105.0.1, which addresses a bug reported in the original 105 version. In most circumstances, Firefox will update automatically. However, you can manually verify that you have the most updated version by selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox to perform a manual check for the update.

The next version of Firefox, version 106 and ESR 102.4, is expected to be available for download on October 18, 2022.

DuckDuckGo Browser Blocks Microsoft Trackers

If you haven’t heard of DuckDuckGo, it’s a tiny browser that only gets a fraction of the traffic that Google does. If we’re being honest, it gets only a fraction of the web traffic that Bing does.  The search engine does have some pluck though and bills itself as the engine of choice for those who value their privacy.

In fact, blocking trackers is DuckDuckGo’s main selling point. It is the overriding reason that those who use the tiny search engine don’t simply go somewhere else.

That’s why when Jack Edwards discovered that DuckDuckGo did not stop data flows to Microsoft’s Linkedin domains or their Bing advertising domains, the company received fierce backlash from their user base, who felt betrayed.

The reason that DuckDuckGo was in the habit of letting Microsoft trackers through lies in the fact that they’re in an advertising partnership with the much larger company. To block all their trackers would be to cut off their own revenue streams and the company makes a big chunk of its revenue via Microsoft Advertising.

The backlash against the discovery, posted and widely shared on Twitter, prompted CEO Gabriel Weinberg to issue a statement.

Weinberg’s statement reads:

“Recently, I’ve heard from a number of users and understand that we didn’t meet their expectations around one of our browser’s web tracking protections.  So today we are announcing more privacy and transparency around DuckjDuckGo’s web tracking protections.”

The new policy can be summed up as follows:  DuckDuckGo will now block most of Microsoft’s trackers for most of the time.  They are making exceptions for trackers used by Microsoft Advertising, because without that, the company would be down a vital revenue stream.

Significantly, this means that all third-party trackers affiliated with Microsoft are now blocked, and while it’s not a perfect solution, it should be enough to mollify the engine’s user base.