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Ecosia now a default search engine option on iOS, iPadOS, macOS

Ecosia is a search engine that promotes privacy first and plants trees around the world, and with Mondays updates, it is now available as a default search engine setting on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Ecosia uses their income from search ads to fund planting trees around the world in harsh environments. The search engine doesn’t track users, encrypts searches, and anonymizes data within a week of it being created.

The ad revenue generated from Apple users alone have planted over seven million trees in 2020, and now you can do more by making it the default search engine. The website shows over 115 million trees have been planted as a result of search revenue so far.

Users can customize what data is gathered by using the Safari browser extension or altering settings on the website, which creates a cookie to store those settings. Ecosia uses keyword searches rather than building user-data profiles and hyper-targeting. The company also makes its earnings reports public to show exactly where finances are being distributed.

Browsers that can be set to default in Safari settings:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ecosia

When a default search engine is set, it will replace Google everywhere web search occurs on the device within the OS except when using Siri. Spotlight search will pull data from everywhere on the device or use the default search engine to surface web results. When asking Siri for information it will search Google using a random identifier so Google doesn’t know its you.

Set Ecosia as your default browser on iOS and iPadOS by navigating to Settings, scroll to Safari, and select Search Engine. On macOS set the default search engine from Safari settings.

Users who wish to set Ecosia as their default must update to iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3 or macOS 11.1 to do so.

Even as Apple adds competitors to Google to its platform, it appears as if Apple itself is preparing an in-house search engine. While web crawlers used by Apple could be related to bolstering Siri results, it could also indicate a larger project for Apple’s search engine.


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