This week on AppleInsider: Apple Car progress, legal battles, iOS 9 launch & more

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Just doesn’t feel good’: Developer pulls leading ad-blocking app from Apple’s App Store.

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. Marco Arment, who developed the most popular paid ad-blocker on Apple’s Australian app store, has pulled the product, citing concerns that the tool could hurt independent web publishers.

Many of the features found in the iOS may have been around for a while in other mobile devices, while some of them will not even be available to Indian iOS users for some time to come. •Apple claims moving to iOS 9 will bring up to one hour of additional time before the next charge, a smaller update file size and better optimization of the CPU and GPU for smoother overall system response. In a blog post published on Saturday titled “Just doesn’t feel good”, Arment, of New York, wrote that he was pulling his “Peace” app because he didn’t feel that it was his role to decide what content is blocked. “Adblockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a tonne of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit,” wrote Arment, who co-founded microblogging website Tumblr and the “read later” Instapaper app.

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. Mr Arment’s app which provided the ad blocking service skyrocketed to the top of the App Store, and at $2.99 a download, it would easily have been on its way to bring in millions of dollars. Companies including giants such as Google and Facebook, as well as start-ups and media organisations, offer their services free – if users tacitly agree to view targeted ads based on their online habits. “I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to turn away an opportunity like this, and I don’t begrudge anyone else who wants to try it. 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.

I’m just not built for this business.” Online advertising is part of the fundamental trade-off that powers much of the Web: Almost everything users do online is tracked by advertisers who fund the “free” services consumers have come to expect: email, social networks and access to online news. Apptopia, a company that tracks app store downloads and revenue, told Fairfax Media the Peace app generated $US113,521 ($157,865) 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. 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.

And a slew of other companies have sprung up, serving as middlemen between publishers and advertisers who create detailed profiles of users as they travel across the Web, measuring the efficiency of ads and setting up what amount to real-time auctions for digital ad space. 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. 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! 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. Arment, through his blog, said that the app will continue working for those who have already bought it, however, they will not get any further updates hereon. Not only does it block the ads on websites that are mostly served by Google, but the new iOS search feature allows you to make internet searches without ever going to the search engine’s website.

And a wave of “malvertising” attacks have used legitimate advertising exchanges to deliver malware to people visiting even some of the most trusted websites. Ad blockers can mitigate these problems, but they also turn users into freeloaders – getting goods without “paying” for them with their attention, personal data and, ultimately, ad clicks. “The ’implied contract’ theory that we’ve agreed to view ads in exchange for free content is void because we can’t review the terms first – as soon as we follow a link, our browsers load, execute, transfer, and track everything embedded by the publisher,” he wrote. Death.” Some 20 million people used ad blockers last year, up 40 per cent from a year earlier, resulting in $US22 billion ($30.5b) 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. The Washington Post recently experimented with ways to discourage the use of blockers, redirecting some online readers who installed the programme to a Web page urging them to subscribe.

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