Provo-based company Cake Technologies is taking on the issue of privacy with a mobile browser designed to collect the least amount of personal information possible.
“I think that people probably don’t realize how much other people know about what they’re doing online. And it’s kind of scary,” said Kendall Hulet, Cake CEO.
The Cake Browser doesn’t ask for any personal information such as an email address or even a name. While web requests on the browser do use an IP address, Hulet explained, all IP addresses are purged from the Cake Technologies database regularly.
“If someone came to me and said, ‘Hey, what queries have I done in the last year or whatever?’ I literally could not tell you,” Hulet said. “That’s the kind of thing that we think is really important.”
The Cake Browser also blocks trackers and ads that tend to follow users around after they’ve made queries, promoting ads on webpages that relate to a search users made days or weeks ago. Ad tracker technology is constantly evolving, Hulet said, but Cake Technologies does its best to keep up.
Besides privacy, the Cake Browser offers another unique feature: the ability to swipe through results. When a user makes a query and the results pop up, Hulet explained that instead of clicking on individual results, users can swipe to view webpages, making it faster and easier to use. Once a user starts swiping, they can continue to swipe through results rather than having to go back to the results page.
“We feel like current browsers are just really boring and haven’t evolved. All they did was take that desktop experience and kind of smash right to the phone. And it’s harder to tap links because they’re smaller, it’s harder to read things. It’s just more annoying and people are more visual anyway,” Hulet said. “And so as you swipe, you just get that visual. You can quickly consume ... and decide whether that’s something you want to look into or just swipe past.”
Another aspect of the Cake Browser Hulet likes is a “group search” feature, which will pull up results from multiple search engines and webpages — for instance, if a user searches images of puppies, they can swipe to view Google results, Bing results and so on. The same thing can be done with videos. Users can also customize their Cake Browser homepage by “following” websites they frequent, so when they open up the browser, they can view the latest posts from those websites.
“It’s a really fast, easy way to stay on top of a topic or a website that you care about,” Hulet said.
The Cake Browser officially launched two years ago and since then has had about 2 million downloads, according to Hulet. In October, the company was set to surpass 8 million “swipes.” Most users are age 25 and under, and the app is gaining popularity in Europe.
One of the next steps for the app, Hulet said, is looking beyond privacy and into security. But Hulet said one of the things the company is most excited about right now is its 4.7 star rating on the App Store.
“People seem to love Cake,” Hulet said.
Learn more about the browser and its features by visiting http://www.cakebrowser.com/.