DuckDuckGo iOS

Switching Default Safari Search Engine on iOS

DuckDuckGo iOS

DuckDuckGo has been one of the default Safari search engines since iOS 8. I tried keeping an eye out on its progress as an alternative search engine to Google Search because of their Policy advocating on protecting user privacy. It wasn’t until late 2018 when a tweet from Walt Mossberg triggered me to revisit and review the progress. I switched my iPhone default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo and initially thought I wouldn’t stick with it.

I thought Google will always be better at delivering the most relevant and correct results. I was wrong. I found DuckDuckGo equally useful to the point I switched to it on all of my iOS devices as the default search engine in Safari. It’s been a year since I made the switch and DuckDuckGo never faltered, to the point, throughout the year, I never thought about going back to using Google Search. Such is the way the mind works when you see no faults in whatever defaults you use as your go-to tool.

Apples Privacy Stance

“I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.”

Tim Cook

The above quote is an excerpt from a letter by Tim Cook published on Apple’s website back in 2014, detailing Apples commitment to user privacy.

It is with this stance that the initial attraction I have for Apple products based solely on my love of their hardware elevated by the respect shown in protecting my privacy with the use of the accompanying software.

The Apple ecosystem can be a beautiful convenience, and many users love the seamless integration of software and hardware across the platform. What has become even greater importance in many peoples use of Apple products and services is the undying protection of our privacy as a Fundamental Human Right that Apple vehemently defends.

Ask a lot of Apple services and product users why they have invested their time and energy in Apple beyond the beautiful hardware and stellar OS’s and top responses will more than likely be one of two reasons or both – ecosystem and privacy. The latter has garnered quite a lot of attention in recent years with privacy advocates relentlessly calling out companies that potentially misuse customer data with a fraction or non-existent transparency.

Often masqueraded under the thin veil of ‘anonymous data collection to improve your experience’, every tech company is susceptible to using data in ways users might not be fully aware of, we are, after all, in a digital age of ubiquitous data harvesting. Whether users tolerate the unethical amassing of data to be sold off without consent is a decision a user should regularly review.