Skip to main content

Apple's iOS Adblocker Platform Doesn't Work That Well Right Now

Contentious. That's a good word to describe the reception of iOS 9's ad blocking capabilities thus far. On one side you have the argument that content producers have a right to earn a living from their work, on the other that users are entitled to a level of control over what happens when they visit a website.
 
Personally I disagree with the concept of preventing ads from displaying, at the same time
understanding why people feel that intrusive and data gobbling downloads are ruining their browsing experience and costing them money (on mobile devices anyway).
 
Having upgraded my iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 to iOS 9 and installed some content blockers to see how they work I found browser performance was not particularly improved. Side by side with my second iPhone 6 running iOS 8 there were negligible differences in load times. However, I didn't measure data so that might be the real differentiator here.
 
I did compare the iOS ad blocker on my iPad with Internet Explorer's TPL on the Surface 3, with illuminating results. Whereas Internet Explorer stripped ads out of the sites I visited without fail, Safari with the content blocker enabled left some in, often all of them.
 
So the iOS Ad Blocking apocalypse may yet be delayed, however there's no doubt that developers will soon learn how to improve performance of the ad blockers, just as ad networks will learn how to defeat the blockers.
 
Ultimately there are no real winners. Except for Apple which gets to push users to apps instead of browsers and reaps the ad income delivered in that medium. Needless to say, after completing the tests I have disabled the various blocking engines on my devices.
 
This debate is going to run and run, I certainly feel the argument is more nuanced than the simple, black and white, publishers are greedy / users want something for nothing.
 
Where we end up and what sort of web we have when we get there remains to be seen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…