iOS 9 Safari content blockers debut to demand, denouncement & a high-profile …

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Developer Pulls Most Popular Ad Blocker From iOS App Store.

An ad blocker application, called Peace, has been the number one paid-for app in the App Store until developer Marco Arment pulled it just two days after its release. “Peace required that all ads be treated the same — all-or-nothing enforcement for decisions that aren’t black and white,” Arment wrote in a blog post published Friday. With Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 9, users can now download apps that block ads and trackers in Safari, allowing iPhones to run faster without those pesky ads.

Apple is rolling out its new operating system Wednesday and with it comes new low battery mode, but that’s not the only feature that should entice you to get the update. Like many other entrepreneurs, Arment released his ad blocker on Wednesday, when the release of iOS 9 meant Apple mobile users could finally block ads. The install size is smaller than the enormous bullshit you downloaded with iOS 8, but there have been some early reports of battery draining and crashes, and you’ll want to see how that plays out before sticking it on an older phone.

The iOS 9 update will fix all the mess the iOS 8 update left behind, which includes an unstable interface that drained the battery and left some users without connectivity. There are a few improvements to the baseline stability (which are overshadowed in basically every release by half your apps being un-optimized for the new OS for a few weeks) and backend security, but like most OS updates, there isn’t much here that you’re going to need help with. The big-ticket item is a “low power” mode that will turn off basically everything that sucks power (push email, parallax effects) and just leave you with a dumb phone, basically. While desktop ad-blocking has been around for a while, the number of people choosing to block ads on mobile has continued to grow—especially now that Apple has made the option available on iOS. 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.

You can just do a search for “Battery” to find it since you can search for settings now. (This is being billed as a nice “addition” but is really just a capitulation to the unnavigable state of iOS menus.) There’s also supposed to be a battery life boost across the board. Apple says it’s about an hour of extra use, and my anecdotal experience says it’s “a little better, I guess.” Still, battery life is the most important part of your phone, so this is good, unless you end up with the bug that does the opposite. But it sounds like Arment has also realized that ad blockers aren’t a perfectly ethical solution to the problems with spyware-laced advertising online. You can then pull the app out whenever, like a drawer (or like the piece of shit Notification Center, which is still a barely functioning disaster but let’s not even get into that).

And to switch the side-app —this took me another few minutes, but this time I think it’s just because I’m a moron— you just open it up and swipe down on a tab you’ll see at the top of it. It’s a lot of swiping from specific parts of the screen that you’re just going to have to deal with because iOS is now as complicated as a Kyle Shanahan playbook. So, if you want to change your data settings, simply type in “data,” or if you want to create a keyboard shortcut, you can type in “keyboard.” Unlike most phones from other makers like Google and Samsung, the iPhone has never had a back button.

From now on when you get redirected from one app to another, the top left corner will show a small strip of text that reads, “Back to (insert name of app you were using).” When you tap on that text it’ll take you back to the previous app you were using. Six-digit passcode: This almost made the cut to the Truly Useful section, but frankly, no one is trying to crack your passcode; they’re trying to trick you into giving it to them or just watching you as you type it in, and this isn’t any great deterrent for that. I swear, Apple’s favorite thing is to hoist some lily-white dingus up on stage to talk about how many apps it has, made by hard-working engineers in a Stanford slave pit, and then turn around and steal that shit 20 months later. On the third page of suggestions, just after “Professional Athletes,” I saw Wellington High School (New Zealand), “Bleacher Report,” “Pachuca Municipality” (a small mining region in Hidalgo that produces more than half of the state’s gold), and “Whitehall High School (Pennsylvania)“—a school two districts and about 70 miles from where I grew up, just close enough to pound home that it isn’t dumb and random, it’s dumb and inept. Also there’s some word that this thing is sucking power even if you’ve never used it, making it one of the bigger reasons to consider not installing iOS 9.

There’s a whole insufferable debate about the ethics of blocking ads and how Apple is perpetuating blog genocide on independent journalisms, and you should under no circumstances read or think about it because I promise you don’t give a shit. Transit: Hey, Apple Maps does transit now, but only in a few major cities, and the directions aren’t as good as the ones on Google Maps, and Apple Maps still suck.

Hide your sex stuff: There’s a basic fix for the modern problem of your church friend Janice swiping through ONE TOO MANY baby pictures and getting an eyeful of your husband’s dick in a jar of peanut butter. The staff is full of rubes who can’t figure out the Netflix machine, so I don’t know how much that endorsement is worth to you, but there it is. iPad keyboard trackpad thing (why?): You can hold two fingers on an iPad’s keyboard to turn it into a trackpad and after 10 minutes of screwing around with it I have no idea why you’d ever want to.

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