I think there are still a minority of people who have ever heard of this search engine, never mind used it. I admit I haven’t used it but it is unique in what it provides, not just in its name. Uniqueness includes a whole host of “Goodies” that provide a lot of helpful tools, not just search and a slightly less unique but more playful “I’m feeling ducky”. Much of which Google does as well but more accessible. The app though takes things in a different direction, at present.
Rather than open with the plain look of the web version, it provides a selection of stories for you. Above it is shown in the day view, where you get Today, Yesterday and This week of stories, which is the default (button shown has had a slight graphical change now). You can also switch to a category view (which I prefer) for six different categories of stories. The stories are from special feeds that have been up-voted or shared often, a nice touch. You can choose from several sources for which will appear in the categories of Current Events, Entertainment, Magazine, Newspaper, Technology and Trivia. In essence providing something similar to a news aggregator within the search engine.
The semantic view isn’t boring squares of text (like most apps), I like how they do it vertically, showing how many stories in each and retaining the search bar. The date view in semantic view has a bit too much white space (since only 3 days/dates provided) but otherwise still good.
As you can see the app provides completion suggestions other search engines do this, but not like DuckDuckGo. They can be quite helpful and interesting that most of the time as will have imagery provided, though just a tad slow showing up due to the images. It doesn’t provide suggestions on the website, not even just with text. You must click in the box to start typing for your search. Hit enter and you get the results as shown below.
A search app or website should be known for its results. Here it falters a little. It takes a bit to provide results, certainly slower than the website version. Interesting that it always provides a connection to Wikipedia and other sources of questionable use (doesn’t show up with every query). The results are fairly typical, but it uses favicons for the graphics, the same way as presented on the webpage. I prefer more images in my search or even to have the option to search for images, not so here. At the webpage you can change a lot about how the results show up, again not so in the app. While you will have to visit each site to see if it answers your query, the snap mode can assist there a lot.
It mentions in the description about it having “Goodies’ but I cannot locate them in the app. They are at the website but not here. Heck you can’t even sort the results by date or use the !bang commands in the app as provided at the website. My guess it will have them at time, just hasn’t been implement yet in this early build. It has already an update since I began this review, so stay tuned for more updates to fix its shortcomings.
Search – well it is a search app so naturally you can use the charm to search the app. Share – there is nothing you can share within the app, everything from stories to search results open in the browser so no need for the app itself to share. Settings – it has a few settings. One allows you to clear the history or even whether you choose to save it and there is an option to choose which country (or all) you want the results to come from. Finally you can filter the stories so you can pick which sources of the default ones provided you want to see stories from or even if you want to see a certain category. If you prefer things totally clean, just uncheck all the categories.
Snapped view is where this app belongs. You can access it fully in this view and any links (including the stories) open in the browser anyway so I would suggest always using it in snapped view. A perfect way to search and check out the results. They automatically open in separate tabs.
It has a live tile that shows a few of the stories available in the “Water Cooler” view. The smaller tile just shows a duck head.
DuckDuckGo professes to provide no clutter, no tracking, no filter bubbling (?) but tons of goodies. With the app they have a few goodies (the stories, called the “Water Cooler” section) but mainly its the search. I didn’t do any scientific test to see which search is better, but based on my limited searching DuckDuckGo was slow and but still useful. I do feel some of the “clutter” on other search sites can come in handy in some searches. However, if you don’t wish to support the big guys, by all means this might be the alternative for you.
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