When the iPhone originally launched in 2007, the data provided by the original stock “Maps” app was powered by Google Maps.
A few years later, Apple launched their own “Apple Maps” service as a replacement. Both worked well in a general sense, but ended up leaving a lot to be desired in terms of the one thing that matters most:
If your iPhone can give you turn-by-turn directions between any two points, it stands to reason that means it also knows exactly where you’re going and where you’ve been, too.
People who make privacy a priority have been searching for a viable alternative for years, and DuckDuckGo Maps may just be the solution they’ve been waiting for.
Why DuckDuckGo Maps Matters
As is true with the DuckDuckGo search engine, DuckDuckGo Maps is billed as a privacy-focused alternative to both Google and Apple’s maps offerings.
All you have to do is go to DuckDuckGo.com and search for whatever local business or location you’re looking for.
If you searched for “coffee shops near me,” for example, you’ll be greeted with search results that are all customized based on your current (approximate) location.
If you turn on more precise results, the businesses you see will get even more specific.
After clicking a suggested location, you can click on the “Directions” button to get step-by-step directions on how to get from the address you input to the exact business you’ve selected. You can even select on either driving or walking directions.
You can also pinch and zoom the map to view more detail, and switch between regular map view and satellite view as needed.
But the real benefit here is that DuckDuckGo Maps stores as little information as possible about its users.
Every search that you make is instantly anonymized, and absolutely no trackers are permitted of any kind. So much of this has to do with the fact that privacy is literally DuckDuckGo’s competitive advantage.
The only reason someone would use it over Google is because they want to keep their activities anonymous, and if you fit that bill you’d be hard-pressed to find a better alternative.
Even letting DuckDuckGo Maps use your precise location information doesn’t actually store any data that anybody else may be able to intercept.
The process is still anonymous because no personal information is ever stored in the company’s server logs.
So if you’re looking for a private maps solution that “just works,” congratulations – it’s called DuckDuckGo Maps and it’s available to use right now at DuckDuckGo.com
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