Joining the parade of iOS 9 content blockers today is Peace, a $2.99 app from Marco Arment. Never to be outdone, Federico Viticci’s already got his review up at MacStories.
In an interesting development, Peace uses the same database as the Ghostery desktop ad-blocker. The app makes use of iOS sharing extensions to give you the ability to open a URL in other apps.
I’ve been using both Peace and Crystal, a content blocker from Murphy Apps, and found that both of them do the job of blocking ads and trackers. The ad blocking is much more noticeable on the iPad, but on the iPhone pages load faster and the interstitial ads that can make browsing on the phone so frustrating are nowhere to be found.
My feelings about the ethics of blocking ads on sites that rely on ad revenue are complicated. If you run one of these blockers, the Deck ad on this very site—which is neither obnoxious nor a tracker—will also vanish, and that will hurt my bottom line. And I know a lot of talented people who work for media companies that are largely funded by advertising. Some of them pay me to write freelance articles for them.
Yet all the privacy-invading trackers and annoying ads that prevent us from getting to the content we want to read make it hard to argue that publishers haven’t been abusing their relationship with readers. There’s no denying that using a product like Peace or Crystal will make your web experience better; there’s also no denying that it’s got the potential to cause some serious damage to web publishers’ businesses.