iOS 9 recently launched and with it came a slew of ad-blockers, but most people are genuinely confused about what these ad blockers actually do. The native ad blocking was announced by Apple but poorly explained, which has left a lot of iOS users wondering how it all works. Here’s how it all breaks down.
Ad Blocking Extensions
Along with the new iOS 9 comes ad blocking extensions that are available through Safari. New iPhones will ship with iOS 9, and the extensions will be available through the new version. But this doesn’t mean that your new iPhone or recent download of iOS 9 will come with ad blocking extensions already baked in. Apple hasn’t actually changed anything as far as blocking ads via Safari.
In order to block ads effectively, you will have to download the ad blocking apps yourself. There are a few companies that made the ad blocking apps including Crystal, Purify, and Arment, so you do have a few to select from. So unless you actively download ones of those apps, you are going to see the same old content including ads.
Apple hasn’t called any of the new apps “ad blockers” per se. Instead, the company is referring to them as “content blockers.” So what kinds of content can you hope to block with the help of the new apps? Well, this is the question that Apple hasn’t really answered. The idea is to block ads of all kinds, but that might not happen. The extensions are meant to block images, cookies, pop-ups, and other annoying bits that tend to show up when using Safari, but whether the apps will block all ads remains to be seen.
So what’s the benefit of using a content blocking extension with the new iOS 9? Have you ever visited a website using your phone and quickly jumped off of that page due to annoying pop-ups that prevent actual content loading? Well, this is the point. Using a content blocker should speed up load times, so that you can actually surf the Internet without dealing with blockers (that are usually not formatted for phones and cause additional annoyances).
Some Difficulty for Advertisers
Of course, websites make money through advertisements and being able to block that content means that those companies will not make as much money (since mobile traffic is huge for most sites). So what’s a company to do? Some companies will probably try and find ways to get around the app extensions. Other companies will likely not bother - why risk annoying potential clients when you can just create better content? What most companies will do remains to be seen, but you can expect some companies to simply work ahead of the curve.
As soon as you have the new iOS 9 you can start to download a content blocker. The ones mentioned above are the most popular, though you may be able to find some others. Now that the confusion has been lifted, will you be downloading a content blocker soon?