Makers of the popular ad-blocking software Adblock Plus have launched a stand-alone mobile browser for iOS. The Adblock Browser launched as a beta on Android back in May, but has not been available on Apple's App Store until now. The company is marketing the software primarily as a way to block ads when browsing webpages online, but says this feature offers a range of other benefits, including protecting users from malware, and saving their battery life and mobile data. Users can block all ads by default or whitelist favorite sites.
Apple is set to allow ad blocking in iOS 9
The timing of the browser's debut is notable, as Apple's iOS 9 — the launch date for which is expected to be announced tomorrow — will allow ad-blocking functionality on iPhones and iPads for the first time. Previously, users had to jailbreak their devices to install ad blockers on Apple's mobile devices. iOS 9 will also come with a dedicated News app from Apple, which promises fast-loading, mobile-optimized articles from a variety of sources (including The Verge). Apple is offering publishers 100 percent of the revenue from ads sold on this platform.
All of these factors mean a certain amount of instability for publishers, as ad-blocking software becomes increasingly mainstream and deprives companies of vital ad revenue from online traffic. Firms like Adblock Plus, however, simply say they want to improve users' mobile experience. The company's co-founder Till Faida said in a press statement: "It has been very important for us to deliver our ad-blocking app to our iOS users who do more and more web surfing from mobile devices. With the popularity of the iOS platform in places like the US, we considered it critical to offer an app in the Apple App Store. We’re thankful to Apple for working with us on this project and we look forward to their new iOS 9, which will give web developers additional ad-blocking tools."