Thursday, June 11, 2015

iOS 9 will allow adblockers on Safari

Apple keeps reminding people it takes privacy really seriously, and that - unlike Google - it doesn't make money by tracking users preferences; and with iOS 9 it seems it will give another step to prove it: by making it very easy to add ad blockers to Safari on the iOS.

iOS has always been a more restricted development platform than Android, and there was only so much developers could do to change the way Safari handled web content. But with iOS9, things will change, and it will extremely easy to create ad blockers for Safari.

In fact, it will be so easy that users won't even have to worry about the developers not being as good as we'd like and having to hunt down the most light-weight and efficient adblocker. Developers will only have to specify their blocking rules, and everything else will be handled by the system itself, in the most efficient way.

Considering ad blockers are on the top of the most popular browser extensions, one can imagine that it will also happen on mobile platforms. In fact, ad blockers make even more sense for mobile platforms, as they can block unwanted content and links, making web pages smaller and faster to load, saving valuable mobile data and also extending battery life. Besides that, we'll also get a new VPN API that might even allow users to route their iOS data connection through services like Tor (or others), for increased security and anonymity (there are rumours Google is also working on a VPN for Android devices, to ensure all data is safe no matter what WiFi network - or even cellular - we're using.)

... Things are about to get more complicated for ad-supported web sites, and also for anyone wanting to snoop into people's phones.

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