Ad blocking extensions have been possible on Safari for the Mac for a long time. However, the plugin architecture for Safari on iOS has been much more limited.
Now that’s going to change.
“With iOS 9, Apple has added a special case of extension for ad blockers,” according to 9to5Mac. “Apps can now include ‘content blocker’ extensions that define resources (like images and scripts) for Safari to not load. For the first time, this architecture makes ad blockers a real possibility for iOS developers to make and iOS customers to install and use.”
When users download an app with an ad blocker extension, it shows up in Settings. If they want, users can keep the app but disable the content blocker independently by dint of the toggle switches.
“The inclusion of such a feature at this time is interesting,” notes 9to5Mac. “Apple is also pushing its own news solution in iOS 9 with the News app, which will include ads but not be affected by the content blocking extensions as they only apply to Safari. There is also clearly the potential for Safari ad blockers to hurt Google, which seems to be a common trend with Apple’s announcements recently.”
An attack on Google’s online revenue?
“Online ad revenue makes up the vast majority of Google’s income, although Google has typically struggled with monetizing mobile,” explained 9to5Mac. “The addition of ad blockers to Safari on iOS won’t help that cause.”
How this will impact advertisers, app developers and Google itself remain to be seen. But there are some nervous folks in the mobile world today.