When I use DuckDuckGo… I really miss Google

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for a while now on my Android phone as my default browser and homescreen search instead of Google Chrome.

Obviously the privacy features are great but it has been interesting to see how much of Google I miss!

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Location awareness

Location awareness is obviously affected. Admittedly, I wouldn’t normally type this search into Google, I’d open Google Maps but it demonstrates the point.

Image Search

Image Search is comparable. Nothing too much lost in terms of the usefulness of results.

Searching for inspiration

With a “meal ideas” search, Google pulls in some rich results from multiple sources. DuckDuckGo not so much.

And are you spotting the ubiquitous Amazon ads?

Sports teams

A search for my childhood football team Wycombe Wanderers. Again, richer results on Google. I wouldn’t say this has anything to do with DuckDuckGo privacy. It’s “simply” a feature. (Yes, I know it’s not actually that simple.)

Searching for lat long coordinates of a place

Google proving “smarter” again with just showing me what I want to know straight away. In this case, the lat long of Buckinghamshire New University (where I teach).

Searching for “IP”

Next up, searching for “IP”. DuckDuckGo shows my IP. Google returns a definition (makes sense, on balance).

Tweaking the search to “My IP” in Google returns my IP address.

And yes they both show the same IP address. DuckDuckGo ain’t a VPN.

And seriously… Those Amazon ads! 🙄

Typing in a word and expecting a definition

Both Google and DuckDuckGo are smart enough to guess that I want a definition when searching for something like “inordinate”.

* Use it in a sentence *

Ok, I will…

“Despite the inordinate number of Amazon ads on DuckDuckGo, there was no ad when searching for… ‘inordinate’.”

Asking for the time in another timezone

And finally, asking for the time (in another timezone). I find myself using this quite a lot when I want to check the GMT time for online events advertised in different timezones.

DuckDuckGo really sucks at this. Google excels. Shows me the time before I even finish the search!

I hope you found this set of comparisons useful. Feel free to add your own observations to the Twitter thread below!

Original thread on Twitter: