Apple Maps is only officially available on Apple devices like iPhones and Macs. But thanks to Duck Duck to Win, you can navigate or get directions on Apple Maps from any platform with a browser, including Windows and Android.
DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps
In 2018, Apple announced MapKit JS, an API that allows application developers to embed Apple Maps on websites. DuckDuckGo took this framework and used it to build their own mapping tool.
To access it, simply find a place in Duck Duck to win, then click the Maps filter at the top of the page, just like you would any other major search engine. You can also try searching for a place name and including “map” in your query.
You can get directions this way by searching for a place, then clicking the “Directions” button and choosing between walking or driving. You can also see local businesses on a map, but for this to work, you will need to share your precise location using the map marker icon in the upper right corner of the map.
Unfortunately, Apple Maps is not as feature-rich as similar services from Google and Microsoft. This means that it lacks information such as real-time traffic and directions for cycling or public transport. On the bright side, business listings include Tripadvisor ratings, contact information, and opening hours.
This stops before the full Apple Maps experience
Unfortunately, DuckDuckGo’s mapping solution doesn’t compare to using a dedicated Apple Maps app on a compatible device. There are no Apple-centric features like saving favorite places to your iCloud account or syncing addresses on a mobile device.
While you can switch between normal map view and satellite imagery, Apple Maps’s impressive-looking 3D photogrammetry is missing. Also absent is the “Look Around” street view feature that is available in some areas when you’re using a dedicated app version of Apple Maps.
If you are a DuckDuckGo user and are willing to trade DuckDuckGo privacy for Google or Bing’s superior mapping experience, you can use dedicated bangs to search Google Maps (! Maps) or Bing Maps (! Bingmaps) directly. You can also check OpenStreetMap using the message! Openstreetmap.
Why DuckDuckGo Chose Apple Maps
DuckDuckGo previously used a combination of OpenStreetMap, Bing Maps, and HERE Maps, but did not have a unique solution. The search engine emphasizes privacy above all else, so using a service like Google Maps (which collects data on who uses it) was not an option.
The lack of data collection is what made Apple Maps such an attractive prospect and allowed DuckDuckGo announce association in early 2019. The search engine assured its users that:
The search engine also told its users that location information is discarded immediately after use.
Try DuckDuckGo today
DuckDuckGo is a real alternative to Google that respects your privacy. The search engine does not track or collect data about its users, but instead generates revenue from affiliate links and results-based advertising.
Learn more about how DuckDuckGo can protect your privacy.