Hands on with Apple’s ‘Move to iOS’ Android app

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ad-blocking on iPhones chips at website money model.

San Francisco: A top iPhone ad-blocking application was pulled from the App Store on Friday by its creator, amid a surge in interest in new programs to thwart marketing messages. “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.” The $2.99 app jumped to the top of the charts after the Wednesday release of updated iOS 9 Apple mobile operating software that allows the use of programs blocking ads from popping up while visiting websites using Safari web browser. Web and iPhone app developer Marco Arment has shut down his recently developed ad blocking app Peace, just two days after it was made available on the US Apple App store.San Francisco/Sydney: A significant number of Apple Inc customers are reporting their mobile devices have crashed after attempting to upload the new iOS 9 operating system, the latest in a line of launch glitches for the tech giant.

Marco Arment, who developed the popular paid ad-blocker on Apple’s app store, has pulled the product, citing concerns that the tool could hurt independent web publishers. While blocking ads promised to make surfing the internet from iPhones or iPads faster and rein in telecom data use, it also sabotages what has long been the main way websites make money while providing free content or services. However many criticized ad-blockers for charging for something that simultaneously took money away from publishers who depended on adverts so that they could provide their readers with free content.

The app rocketed to the number one spot of the App Store’s top-downloaded list on Wednesday evening after Apple’s iOS 9 update allowed content blocking in Safari for the first time. Twitter and other social media were awash with disgruntled customers reporting two distinct faults, with one appearing to be linked specifically to older models of Apple iPhones and iPads. “It is beyond inconvenient to not be able to use your phone for a day,” said student Pip Cordi as staff in the Apple store in central Sydney looked at her phone on Friday. “I have a lot of apps that I use for school – things like language apps and dictionaries and that’s all really important for my studies.” Another iPhone user, Zorry Coates, said she had spent three hours in the Apple store and had been left with the option of either returning her phone to factory settings — losing any non-backed-up data — or waiting until Apple technicians announced an update. “They said they were aware of the problem and their engineers were working on it 24/7, but they couldn’t tell me when — or how — I would get a solution,” Zorry said.

It’s a complete reversal to previous blog posts he’s written, including a recent one titled “the ethics of modern web ad-blocking”, in which he justified ad blockers as a good idea by saying ads made the user experience terrible and that users never consented to being served ads and being tracked online. This approach is too blunt,” Arment wrote. “Even though I’m ‘winning,’ I’ve enjoyed none of it,” he said. “Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have.” The app will likely still be available at least until a major iOS update for users who have already downloaded it, though there will be no future updates to the app. Despite any troubles, significant numbers of iOS users had upgraded; more than 16%, according to Mixpanel, a San Francisco, California-based analytics company, as of 4pm PDT (2300 GMT) Thursday.

The mainstay of Google revenue continues to be online ads, but a good portion of that involves search page marketing posts that are not affected by ad-blocking applications, according to analysts. But that’ll end soon enough, and that’s better than how I’d feel if I kept going.” An Apple spokeswoman said that Apple enabled ad-blocking in the new version of its mobile software to give customers the option to block content “for an improved mobile browsing experience.”

Charlie Brown, a technology expert at Sydney-based Cybershack, said any number of dissatisfied customers was significant in the social media era, particularly following the troubled rollout of iOS 8. Arment’s $3.79 ad-blocking app, Peace, reached No. 1 in 12 countries’ paid app stores over the past two days, according to app analytics firm App Annie.

Extensions to block ads on your desktop browser have been available for a long time now, but up until now, the most used mobile browser in the world has not supported it. The explosion in popularity of ad blockers has led to a bitter ethics debate between those who see them as an existential threat to the free Internet and those who are sick of barrages of obnoxious — and sometimes harmful — ads and arrays of trackers that trace their online movements to better target ads. “Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides,” Arment said. Apple released several further updates to iOS8, but some of the bugs were never fully fixed. “The risk to Apple in terms of having dissatisfied customers is that as their customer base grows, so will the number of those dissatisfied customers,” said Brown. Apptopia, a company that tracks app store downloads and revenue, told Fairfax Media the Peace app generated $US113,521 ($177,376 NZD) in gross proceeds in the 36 hours it was live.

For Apple, they will publicly say that they introduced the support for a cleaner, faster web experience, however their goal is clear: to get publishers to push people to use Apple News. Publishers who have been forced to put their content online for free while search engines make money off ads could see the rebirth of subscription models through paid apps. If we’re going to effect positive change overall, a more nuanced, complex approach is required than what I can bring in a simple iOS app”, he added. Murphy gave away the app for free to the first 100,000 users to download it, then set a price of $0.99. “The success of it is kind of bittersweet because I love the Internet and I love the websites that are on it,” Murphy told Mashable. “But at the same time, I hate the mobile ads industry…I just find it very intrusive and very hostile.”

Ghostery is a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Apple Safari that enables its users to easily detect and control HTTP cookies- which save a user’s information and relay this information between a website and a browser. Many posted screen shots of the error message they received: “Software Update Failed”. “It’s like the Black Friday thing,” said Bob O’Donnell of Technalysis Research, referring to the major US shopping sale day after Thanksgiving. “Some websites get creamed on the traffic on Black Friday.” Other users, many of them with older devices, reported their devices seizing up on a “swipe to upgrade” page. Ad-blocking tools are designed to help web pages load much faster by stripping out so-called scripts that are used to serve the ads and trackers that are used by web publishers to count how many times a particular article is read, among other information. American technology website The Verge, wrote about how the push by big companies like Apple and Facebook for news to be consumed within their apps will force publishers to survive, but will most likely wipe out smaller publications. “Taking money and attention away from the web means that the pace of web innovation will slow to a crawl,” The Verge’s Editor in Chief Nilay Patel wrote. “Innovation tends to follow the money, after all! McKay and Brown said they always advised clients to wait several days before downloading any new upgrades from Apple, Google Inc or Microsoft Corp to make sure any glitches had been found and ironed out.

However, many argue that such tools hurt publishers, particularly smaller ones, by forcing them to develop dedicated iPhone apps, rather than relying on mobile-friendly websites. And asking most small to medium-sized sites to weather that change without dramatic consequences is utterly foolish.” If you look through iOS 9, it starts to become clear that Apple has a plan to use the world’s most popular phone to suck a big chunk of Google’s revenue stream dry. Death.” Some 20 million people used ad blockers last year, up 40 per cent from a year earlier, resulting in $US22 billion ($34.2b NZD) in lost advertising revenue, according to a study by Adobe and PageFair, an anti ad-blocking tech company. When Fairfax Media tested Peace on Friday, we found it worked well the majority of time in blocking ads and tracking software while also speeding up the time it took to load webpages.

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