Ad-blocking applications make headlines under iOS 9

  • AFP
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2015 16:42 IST
The 1Blocker app under iOS 9 allows users to choose which adverts to block or not. Photo: AFP

The latest update of Apple's iOS 9 operating system has opened the door to applications that block advertisements under the Safari mobile navigator. Not surprisingly, they are fast becoming some of the most downloaded applications of the moment.

The various apps, which include among others Crystal, 1Blocker and Purify range in price from free to $0.99 and $3.99 and are more or less customizable. All of these applications promise to remove adverts under Safari from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Meanwhile the Peace app rapidly climbed to number one on the paid apps, only to be withdrawn 48 hours after its launch as the parent company realized (with some delay) that as the application included no filtering option and all ads were treated in the same way, there was a potential for some companies to be harmed undeservedly. Users who have already downloaded Peace can still use the app though no update will be available.

A first for Apple

In order to set up these applications, open Safari's settings and select "Content Blockers" (the option only appears if one or more ad-block apps have already been installed). Several apps can work simultaneously, though this may cause webpages to load slowly.

Although these types of programs are highly popular on desktop computers, introducing these kinds of applications in the App store is a first for Apple. Using this kind of program removes invasive pop-ups, adverts, cookies and other trackers allowing for more secure web pages that load faster.

Eyeo stands alone

The parent-company of the Adblock Plus program, used by millions of net-users around the world to block all or a selection of ads on any web navigator, has decided to launch Adblock Browser, a new mobile-friendly web navigator that will allow users to browse ad-free by default. A reference in the world of desktop browser extensions, Adblock Plus boasts over 300 million downloads across all web platforms.

iOS 9 is compatible with all devices launched since the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2 and the fifth generation iPod touch.

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