Why Apple should buy DuckDuckGo

“Apple creates great products, but struggles to do the same for Internet services,” Emil Protalinski writes for VentureBeat. “One of the most important, hardest-to-build, and useful Internet services of our day is the search engine.”

“The top search engines are all either owned by Apple’s direct competitors, or are failing to keep up with innovations from Google and to a lesser extent, Microsoft,” Protalinski writes. “Apple needs a search engine that respects user privacy, is already familiar with the company’s products, and can help the company take on the likes of Google Now and Cortana.”

Protalinski writes, “Thankfully, a search engine that just happens to be the perfect fit for Apple already exists: DuckDuckGo.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Plus, it has a stupid name that just begs to be changed to “Apple Search.” It’s perfect for Apple!


DuckDuckGo has grown 600% since Apple made it a search option – and Snowden’s revelations – June 17, 2015
Apple’s default search engine: Is DuckDuckGo next in line? – March 4, 2015
Microsoft, Yahoo vie to become Apple Safari’s default search option – November 26, 2014
Apple adds DuckDuckGo option to iOS 8 Safari, ‘a search engine that doesn’t track users’ – September 18, 2014
Apple slams Google in Safari 7.1 release notes: ‘Adds DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track users’ – September 18, 2014
It’s time for Apple to buy DuckDuckGo – May 30, 2014


      1. Spotlight or Sherlock seems perfect. Spotlight is probably the better bet simply because with Siri too incorporating it search should be one an all encompassing service be it on computer or beyond as is already happening on the Mac anyway. I don’t think Apple is St all interested in a stand alone search engine it does want expanded search seemlessly within any relevant service on its products. So Siri becomes in terms of search the speech based version of Spotlight. With or without DDG that’s the way it is going.

    1. It should be called Spotlight
      avalilable as a weblink on all devices with the emphasis on OS X users, optimized for apple browsers, and lifted to new horizons by iCloud

      Otherwise just secure and anonymous search (for the settlers)

    1. I didn’t like the name either but then again, I don’t like Yahoo as a name because I am not a Yahoo. I tried DDG and didn’t like the search results or the presentation. I want something other than Google but alas, it has not materialized.

  1. Anybody remember Sherlock? Type a natural language query and Sherlock brings back results from every major search engine, eBay, Amazon, etc. I always wondered why Apple discontinued it. I never really used it. By the time I switched back to the Mac it was 2005 and Apple was getting ready to switch to Intel. Sherlock had already been discontinued. Does anybody have more insight on this topic than I do. Was it poor technology or was it the kind of thing where Google asked them to stop because they were loosing ad revenue? If it is the latter, I wouldn’t think Apple would care now.

    1. Sherlock wasn’t a natural language query engine. It was really a fairly basic architecture that used simple plugins that passed the input query through to the 3rd party server and returned results.

      I think that increasingly, it was becoming less useful as Google (and Yahoo at the time) were getting better about delivering more relevant results as well as links to contextual results (like image, video, map, news, etc..).

      Likewise the functionality was replaced with many browsers that offered search plugins available from the browser search field.

      Both of these reduced the utility of having this functionality in yet another app that lived outside of the browser.

      Just prior to moving to Intel architecture, Spotlight and Dashboard were introduced. While Sherlock still was installed by default, it certainly took an even further back seat as people started making search widgets.

      By the time the move to Intel was underway, many of the Sherlock plugins didn’t even work anymore as they had been neglected by the developers who no longer registered enough traffic from Sherlock to warrant paying it any attention.

      Thus Sherlock was never ported over to Intel, was no longer included in installations, and died without even a whimper.

      Every once in a while someone brings it up here as if it was this magical app that would cure all of our problem today if it were to be brought back, but in reality, it had its time, and it died a natural death.

    2. Apple ran afoul of copyright and other legal issues when Sherlock reported results that were edited and formatted by the search engines it employed without acknowledgment or full context. Rather than argue about it, or seek compensatory agreements, Apple simply dropped Sherlock.

  2. No, searching as we know it is changing. Apple’s ability to deep link within an application to data that’s stored on their servers is going to be way more useful than any open Internet search. Apple doesn’t need to buy a search engine, they just need to keep doing what they’re doing. As long as these deep links aren’t tracking user data, then they’re protecting uses privacy and actually linking to something valuable.

    For example, do a lyrics search on Google and DuckDuckGo, chances are both going to give you useless results for anything but the most popular artists. BUT they will both happily supply those useless links.

  3. All “search engines” (as we know them today) are confusing, whether they maintain privacy or not. Buying DuckDuckGo means buying into the past, not the future.

  4. I like the idea. It would fix my main source of skepticism with DuckDuckGo:

    DuckDuckGo says they will never surrender to an unlawful government request of user’s data. Which I think is easy to say, so long as they are a small company no one knows or cares about. But that promise will be harder to keep, as they get bigger, people start actually using the search engine, and government agents starts knocking on (or knocking down?) their doors.

    But if Apple takes over the search engine, then I trust they will have the power to upload privacy principles, even against increasing government pressure.

  5. Call it what you will, just don’t make it DuckDuckGo – seriously, search, ANY search, is Apple’s epic weakness. DuckDuckGo would not improve that.

    I keep switching my Safari Search to DDG only to find myself returning to Google after a while, when not finding what I need becomes to frustrating.

    On second thought, it would perfectly match with Apple’s innate inability to properly implement a usable search method.

    1. Duck Duck Go is a better name tha the one given to a hamburger chain fast food restaurant; Juicy Lucy’s. Sounded like name for the location of a house of ill repute. Took less than a year forJuicy Lucy’s Togo out of business. 🖖😀⌚️

  6. I don’t know about Apple doing search. Half the time Spotlight can’t even find things on my phone. And the search tools on the Mac really stink these days. Very non-intuitive to do complex searches. And Apple Maps still stinks. Apple is fantastic at a lot of things. There hardware is second to none. Most of OS X is the best its ever been. But search is one where they suck balls.

  7. Apple is Thinking Different™ about Search. Instead of building a Search “site” that just happens to be integrated into browsers, Apple has built search directly into its devices. The next version of OS X and iOS do that for weather, sports, and will do so for so much more. DuckDuckGo could integrate directly with Spotlight by providing an extension. Do a search in Spotlight, and get DuckDuckGo results. No need for Apple to buy them, because Apple has now provided the wiring under the hood.

  8. DuckDuckGo is substantially Open Source.


    There’s no reason Apple can’t contribute to the DuckDuckGo projects and instantiate DuckDuckGo as its default search engine for everything, including integrating it by default into Siri’s inquiries. Apple has already been involved directly with over 300 open source projects. Here’s another.

    DuckDuckGo is by no means a match for Google. But every day it gets better.

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