Internet users are bombarded with countless advertisements every day.
You open a browser and see sidebar ads while you read the news or search for something. You use an app, and ads would pop up while you’re doing so. Scrolling through social media is also like navigating through several ads between your family members’ and friends’ posts.
Over the years, users have increasingly become interested in adblocking services, programs that allow people to use the Internet without seeing ads. Considering that the average person sees hundreds of ads per day, adblocking may sound appealing. There are several types of adblockers, depending on the operating system (OS) you’re using. This post touches on adblocking services in general and adblockers for iOS in particular.
Adblocking Services: Why Do You Need Them?
The concept of advertising has been around for hundreds of years. The first recorded ad was seen in 1472 and took the form of a small printed announcement advertising a prayer book for sale. About two centuries later, the first newspaper ad appeared in the Boston News-Letter. It was placed by a man selling an Oyster Bay, Long Island property.
Modern ads have come very far from their early forms. Decades ago, you could only see ads if you passed a billboard, watched TV, or read a newspaper or magazine. These days, they are everywhere, specifically on mobile phones and computers. Seeing ads left and right daily can be disruptive, but there are deeper reasons for wanting to block them. Below are some of them.
- Faster browsing experience: Ads can slow down page loading times and consume your device’s processing power. Therefore, blocking them can significantly improve browsing speed.
- Data savings: Mobile users with limited data plans may find that ads consume significant bandwidth. Using adblockers allows them to save on data consumption.
- Malware protection: Threat actors have found a way to weaponize ads through malvertising. These are advertisements designed to distribute malware, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware.
How Do Adblockers Work on iOS?
Blocking ads on iOS devices slightly differs from adblocking on Android devices or desktop browsers since Apple has unique policies. iOS adblockers work with the Safari browser using the Safari Content Blocker Application Programming Interface (API). This API was developed and is provided by Apple and contains a set of rules that determine what type of content to block.
When you open a webpage, Safari checks the URL and page elements against the rules set by the iOS adblocker.
But before using an adblocker, you still have to configure it on your device. Follow these steps to do that.
- Download an adblocker from the App Store.
- Go to Settings > Safari > Content Blockers.
- Tap Enable.
Remember that adblockers need to be updated regularly to continue blocking new ad types.
Impact of iOS Updates on Adblocking
Each new iOS iteration may affect how adblocking apps work, as Apple might introduce new features, change policies, or adjust how adblockers operate. Each new OS iteration might include new tools, privacy features, and policy changes. For example, Apple introduced the Safari Content Blocker API in iOS 9, a significant development that allowed for more efficient and privacy-focused adblocking.
The impact of iOS updates on adblocking can be positive or negative, depending on the changes made. Developers of iOS adblockers need to adapt to keep up with the latest iOS updates and understand how they can impact their creations.
Many people have found blocking ads on iOS and other devices necessary to avoid intrusive ads that provide advertisers too much information. In the age of cyber attacks targeting regular Internet users, it’s best to be cautious and avoid as many threat entry points as possible.