For users of mobile and desktop devices alike, browsing the web has one infinitely frustrating aspect- adverts. Obtrusive, irritating and seemingly everywhere, desktop users are left praising the invention of ad-blockers in order to banish those pesky targeted ads.
This frustration is ramped up a couple when using your smartphone, as ads scrawl themselves across the entire screen. The cries of many mobile users are being answered however, with recent ad-block announcements drawing cheers from the mobile community.
Apple’s Annual Launch
Those announcements have been led by Apple, who are set to allow adverts to be blocked from their mobile iPhone and iPad devices when using their web browser Safari. Apple are set to announce a selection of new products at the reveal on Wednesday, with a new iPhone (likely the 6S) and an all-new 12-13 inch tablet (named the iPad Pro), set to be rolled out.
Amongst a sea of shiny new devices however, the news that their latest mobile OS refresh, iOS 9, will contain ad-blocking potential in safari may be the most welcome arrival of them all. Previously, ad-blockers were available through third party browsers of “jailbreaking” techniques, but in general their use on mobile devices is thought to be relatively low. At least, that’s in comparison to PCs, where ad-blockers are considered widespread, and a battleground over their legal and moral use is forever raging.
Upgrade to iOS 9 then, and Safari will now be compatible with downloadable extensions from the App Store with ad-blocking capabilities (rather than building in their own software).
Pipping Apple to the post, a big name in the ad-block industry have stepped in and rolled out their solution before iOS hits the shelves. Available now from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, Adblock Plus have released a web-browser that is purpose built for blocking out those annoying ads.
These latest steps are considered a huge milestone for the ad-blocking industry. As mentioned above, ad-blockers are widespread for PC and laptop users, with numerous extensions and desktop apps available to filter through the most intrusive adverts. For a company like Apple, who are often so inclusive in their attitudes, it represents a breakthrough for both Adblock Plus and ad-blocking in general that they are so open to the concept.
For users then, the news should bring about relative cheer. The Adblock browser not only looks to bring an end to screen-filling product selling, but it also brings other browser-enhancing features. Security is enhanced as malvertising and tracking ads are blocked, and performance improves, with pages loading faster without having to load data intensive ads.
Are Adblockers Moral?
And that’s all great, you might be thinking. But actually, not everyone will be overjoyed by ad-blockers move to mobile. Specifically content providers, many of whom rely on their advertising revenue in order to keep producing their service. With ads blocked from majority of users, potentially audiences for ads decline and, as a result, so do the price these sites can demand for ad-space. The issues surrounding ad-blockers has been fought out in the courts, with Cologne based Adblock Plus fighting cases against large publishers over the rights to use their product on their websites.
For content providers, it may come as a bit of double whammy, after Google also announced plans to crackdown on intrusive mobile ads. In the coming months, sites with intrusive ads on their mobile sites will receive greater penalties in the Google search rankings.