Content blockers dominate paid App Store charts one day after iOS 9 release

Crystal iOS

One day after the release iOS 9, the top paid app on the Canadian iTunes App Store is Peace, a program by Tumblr and Instapaper co-founder Marco Arment that allows Safari to block web ads and trackers. Canada isn’t the only country where Peace is doing well; it’s currently number one in four other countries, including the United States, France, United Kingdom and Australia. Moreover, it’s not the only content blocker doing well. In Canada, another app called Crystal, is similarly doing well — it is currently number four on the App Store.

That content blocking apps are doing well is not a surprise. Publishers and ad networks have gone to great lengths to monetize the modern web, so much so that many have fallen back on collecting significant amounts of user data.

On his personal blog, Arment wrote about a bit about his reasons for releasing Peace. “Web advertising and behavioral tracking are out of control,” he says. “They’re unacceptably creepy, bloated, annoying, and insecure, and they’re getting worse at an alarming pace.”

“Ad and tracker abuse is much worse on mobile: ads are much larger and harder to dismiss, trackers are harder to detect, their JavaScript slows down page-loads and burns battery power, and their bloat wastes tons of cellular data. And ads are increasingly used as vectors for malware, exploits, and fraud.”

Those who don’t want to pay for an iOS content blocker, or want to try a free version before graduating to something a bit more feature-heavy, can download 1Blocker or Freedom.

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