One more thing

Ad­ver­tis­ers are ap­palled at Ap­ple’s sup­port for ad block­ing, but our res­i­dent grouch isn’t.

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Ap­ple opin­ion

Imag­ine if ev­ery time you read a news­pa­per or saw a bill­board, a man in a cheap suit fol­lowed you. He’d be alone at first, but one would be­come two, two would be­come ten, ten would be­come twenty. They’d fol­low you ev­ery­where: on buses and trains, down streets and through shops, when you walked the dog or worked out at the gym, and their ex­penses – their fares, their food, their data con­nec­tions – would be charged to your debit card.

That’s pretty much what’s hap­pen­ing when­ever you use the web – and be­cause Ap­ple wants to help stop it, Ap­ple is be­ing ac­cused of be­ing evil.

The row is over con­tent block­ing, which Ap­ple will make much eas­ier to do in iOS 9 and El Cap­i­tan. Ap­ple’s sup­port for ad block­ing along­side the launch of its own ad-based app, Ap­ple News, has got web­site own­ers and ad­ver­tis­ers in a tizzy. How dare Ap­ple help peo­ple block their ads! Doesn’t Ap­ple know they have mouths to feed? Ap­ple does know, but Ap­ple also knows that those ads and track­ers are mak­ing ev­ery one of its users’ on­line ex­pe­ri­ence worse.

In the last few years there’s been a huge de­cline in in­ter­net speeds de­spite ever-faster broad­band and Wi-Fi. It is par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able on iOS, which doesn’t ben­e­fit from the ad­block­ers and anti-track­ing ser­vices I use on my Mac to keep the web us­able.

Ev­ery ad tracker and ev­ery third-party ad slows things down, be­cause the track­ers and ads need to com­mu­ni­cate with the ad net­works or other web­sites, and they can make page sizes sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger too. Those wit­less “iPads for £20 with this spe­cial trick!” ad pan­els, auto-play­ing videos and in­va­sive pop-ups are spy­ing on you, killing your MacBook’s bat­tery and burst­ing through your mo­bile data al­lowance.

Ac­cord­ing to the HTTP Archive, which stud­ies these things, the av­er­age web page has in­creased in size from 828KB in 2012 to over 2MB to­day. Those are av­er­age sizes: we’ve seen 75KB of text mag­i­cally turn into 12MB of bloat once all of the ads, videos and track­ers have loaded. That’s af­fect­ing your de­vice, your pri­vacy and your con­nec­tion, which is why Ap­ple wants to make it eas­ier to block.

I’m with Ap­ple on this one. I’m not an­ti­ads, but I am anti- ad­ver­tis­ers ap­par­ently be­liev­ing they can do what­ever they like ir­re­spec­tive of how badly it af­fects web use. If what you do is so use­less, so un­pop­u­lar and so anti-con­sumer that peo­ple are in­stalling tools to stop it, take the hint: you need to think dif­fer­ent. For Gary Mar­shall, ad block­ing is just the start. He also wears a tin­foil hat to pro­tect his head from the CIA’s brain­wave-read­ing rays.

Those wit­less ads, auto-play­ing videos and in­va­sive pop-ups kill your bat­tery life

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