iOS 9 lets app developers make ad blockers for Safari

“Ad blocking extensions have been possible on Safari for Mac for a long time, but plugin architecture for Safari on iOS is much more limited. With iOS 9, Apple has added a special case of extension for ad blockers,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “Apps can now include ‘content blocker’ extensions that define resources (like images and scripts) for Safari to not load. For the first time, this architecture makes ad blockers a real possibility for iOS developers to make and iOS customers to install and use.”

“The inclusion of such a feature at this time is interesting. Apple is also pushing its own news solution in iOS 9 with the News app, which will include ads but not be affected by the content blocking extensions as they only apply to Safari,” Mayo reports. “There is also clearly the potential for Safari ad blockers to hurt Google, which seems to be a common trend with Apple’s announcements recently.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This sounds great, as long as you whitelist your favorite free (ad-supported) sites! 😉 A HUGE THANK YOU to those who do so in their desktop browsers.

MacDailyNews is a independent website. We’re not owned by a large corporation. Without our advertisers, we wouldn’t be here. As always, thank you so much for visiting and for your support! We really appreciate it!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill” for the heads up.]

31 Comments

        1. Yes, we will. You may have noticed that the number of ads have been reduced dramatically in the last month. (Cut by more than half!). The site is loading markedly faster now and our hope is that this enhances our visitors’ experience and, eventually, helps to produce better revenue results. Fewer ad positions makes them more valuable (or so we hope, eventually) which would help make up for the reduction in ad spots – as long as you guys whitelist! Right now, we’re trying to manage our way through the significant revenue decline in the hopes of improving the experience. Thank you for your support!

          1. Can you get more relevant ads? On a Mac based site, I look for Mac based ads and peripherals, etc. Any movement there?

            Other non Mac ads are just plain annoying.

      1. A difference. Your pages seem to load faster and I haven’t experienced an ad re-direct in quite a while. Thanks for all your efforts in trying to rid your site of those particularly infuriating ads.

    1. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, but one might assume that hiding ads where they’re least likely to be seen might negatively impact their value.

      I’ll make it simple:
      1. You get this site for free thanks to the ads
      2. If you block the ads, you’re freeloading and hurting the site you supposedly like
      3. MacDailyNews has really cut the number of ads dramatically
      4. Whitelist MacDailyNews if you enjoy the site

      1. Your shot in the dark just hit your foot. The ads I understand, I’m talking about all the links in blue on the grey background. They could be a click away – if I wanted them, which I don’t, instead of in my face.

        1. Oh, you want the links to other sites’ headlines hidden? Are they really “in your face?” I’d guess most people find them to be quite useful, not something to be hidden.

          1. Your name says it all. You really are quite bitchy. And you think you speak for most people – how very clever of you. And you can’t use apostrophes. And now I’m bored with you. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya 😛

        2. Agreed, the take up valuable screen space, which is significant on smaller monitors. Even on larger displays, I have to widen my Safari window more than I would like to avoid cutting off the text of the article.

          Kernel Sanders is right, MDN – find a more elegant way to provide these links. Your current website design is not very Apple-like.

          1. It has to be said, it’s a rubbish website in terms of layout and design. For example, a simple improvement would be forward and backward buttons to move between stories without having to go back to the homepage every time. Halve the number of clicks instantly. (But maybe lose ad income…?)

  1. “Apple is also pushing its own news solution in iOS 9 with the News app, which will include ads but not be affected by the content blocking extensions as they only apply to Safari,”

    Yes, Apple will have one, as does just about every news organization including the Orange County Register, whom I freelance for.

    1. Gruber took a different tack with regard to advertising on his site and it’s worked out very well for him. His site is remarkably uncluttered by advertisements, yet he derives a good income from it. There is usually more than one way to do things and unconventional approaches often pay off.

      MDN has it’s advertising reasonably under control, but I despair of adverts that expand and take over my screen if my cursor strays over them. Most ads are more or less unobtrusive, but those ones really piss me off. If I’m interested in an ad, I deliberately click on it ( and often do ), but if an advertiser thinks that a passing cursor is enough of an excuse for them to interrupt my viewing, they have got it wrong and I don’t like being irritated by people who think that they have the right to display their rubbish on my screen when I’m trying to read something else. I never buy stuff from people or companies that annoy me.

      An ad blocker that specifically killed those adverts would be very desirable as far as I’m concerned as those advertisers have over-stepped the line.

  2. Hey, MDN!

    When will you start an ad-free subscription-based site?

    I’d gladly pay you twice what you receive from ad networks per viewer if you’d offer an ad-free option.

    I appreciate your pruning the sheer number of ads down as I have commented here before about the site being overrun by ads.

  3. Ad blocking on iOS is NOT a new thing. Here are some example apps:

    – Dolphin Browser (already allows adding AdBlock extension!) [Dolphin is excellent, my fave iOS browser]
    – WebBlock
    – AdBlock Browser
    – Adblock Mobile

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