Just a few days after Apple's latest operating system iOS 9 was released with an ad blocking function, apps that promise to limit intrusive and unwanted advertising are leading the company's app store. Apps including Peace, Crystal and Purify Blocker that purport to clean up the mobile browsing experience are among the top five paid downloads. (Peace was removed from the App Store on Friday.)
On Sept. 8, Apple allowed one of the largest ad blocking companies. Adblock Plus, to put its Adblock Browser in its app store. It then strengthened its position the next day when it announced iOS 9 would also include the controversial programs that are infuriating some publishers and advertisers, who claim that ad blocking is cutting into their revenue.
"Ad blockers are a necessary tool for users because the ads landscape is broken," said Ben Williams, Adblock Plus communications and operations director. "Ad blockers are a symptom of that broken scene, and they are a user's only defense against ads that track them, endanger their security with threats like 'malvertising' that annoy them."
According to an Adobe and PageFair report, about 198 million people around the world use ad blocking software, with the number growing 41 percent over the last year. In the U.S. alone, 45 million people use ad blockers.
Ad blockers are programs that block digital advertising, which can be as simple as banners that appear on the side of your screen to brand-sponsored advertorials or "native content."