iOS 9 Will Feature Ad Blocking For Safari

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Pop up ads to be banished with iOS 9’s ‘Content Blocking Safari Extensions’

Apple has revealed that its next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 9, will feature an adblocker built into the Safari web browser.

The adblocker promises to block pop-up ads with an extension in Safari, but it is not yet clear how Apple will decide exactly what ads are allowed through the filter and what ads are blocked.

Fast and efficient

Apple said: “Content Blocking gives your extensions a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content.”ios 9

The decision to roll out ad blocking software is likely to stir up a bit of contempt with Apple rival Google, as revenue streams globally feel the pinch from increased adblocking software in used worldwide.

“Our app extension is responsible for supplying a JSON file to Safari. The JSON consists of an array of rules (triggers and actions) for blocking specified content,” explained Apple. “Safari converts the JSON to bytecode, which it applies efficiently to all resource loads without leaking information about the user’s browsing back to the app extension.

“Xcode includes a Content Blocker App Extension template that contains code to send your JSON file to Safari. Just edit the JSON file in the template to provide your own triggers and actions. The sample JSON file below contains triggers and actions that block images on webkit.org.”

TechWeekEurope recently spoke to software provider AdBlock Plus, a firm that makes both a desktop and mobile extension that blocks ‘intrusive’ ads on the web.

The company posted a statement yesterday warning that Apple’s decision could be a “death knell” for adblocking on Safari.

Sebastian Noack, a developer at AdBlock Plus, wrote: “This is the first time since Safari 5.1 that new extension APIs have been added to Safari, so it was a nice surprise. We appreciate and support Apple’s attempts to finally catch up on extensions, but those latest changes will create either the best possible landscape for Safari extensions, or the worst – especially for Adblock Plus.

“In short, either this new API will improve Adblock Plus performance on Safari or it will force us to rely upon an inferior blocking format that would essentially kill adblocking on Safari.”

Noack is worried that, with Apple using a new way to block ads, its extensions will corrupt the way AdBlock Plus blocks ads.

“The best case is that the new API will help us to improve the performance and adblocking experience on Safari, and paves the way for an iOS adblocker,” wrote Noack.

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