AdBlock for iOS


This may be the best tip since using iCloud on Snow Leopard.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of apps in the iTunes app store, those apps specifically for iOS devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch – that are great, but… they have ads all over the place. Very annoying and distracting. Many of those apps allow one to turn the ads off by paying a fee – typically somewhere from 99₵ to $2.99. Some apps, I’m thinking TVGuide in particular, have ads and don’t allow one to turn those off at all. So what I think may be the best TV listings app for iOS is either deal with the ads or find another app. For me, for years, it was the latter. No more.

AdBlockFor 99₵ one can purchase AdBlock for iOSThis turn the ads off for nearly every app having them. With tax, I can say, so far this has been the best $1.07 I’ve spent. Now, TV Guide – NO MORE ADS! Songza, same. Friendlya nice replacement for Facebook, same. In fact, it was Friendly giving me the idea to search for such an app. It’s called Friendly with AdBlock and the author wants $2.99 to turn off the ads. Enter AdBlock for iOSa third the price with the same results.

The way the app works is to setup a fake VPN. Then, when the ads go to connect they can’t, so no more ads. Other internet options work just fine. I think, depending on how the app is written determines whether you’ll see a blank bar where the ad should be or nothing at all. For TV Guide, there’s nothing. For Songza, there’s a bar, which for me is still better than the ads.

Caution: There’s a free app called AdBl0ck. It however, sets up a real VPN and connects back to Baby Blue Wireless. It sends some information back to them. It might not be any worse than say, Facebook, but doesn’t the web have enough info on you already? Here’s the Baby Blue Wireless Privacy Policy. Also, because it’s a real VPN, when I was out for my normal morning walk, I was disconnected from the AdBl0ck servers. Result? Nothing worked. Ditched immediately. Save yourself the headache and the privacy invasion. Spend the 99₵.

3 thoughts on “AdBlock for iOS

  1. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss real VPN access with the Adbl0ck app.

    First off, free VPN access is quite a perk these days, you usually have to pay to access a VPN, that’s because it creates a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN provider (beneficial when you need true security at a public wifi hotspot). Second, the Adbl0ck app is set up specifically to strip ad content into their cloud server while bypassing all other content. Even if it does capture non-ad content, your account name on their server is a random 12 character alpha-numeric that really doesn’t identify the user. Additionally, most common web email platforms (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) on smartphones use SSL by default for incoming email, so the VPN and the SSL can’t see what each other are doing anyway. Since email would probably be the most personally identifiable area of concern on one’s mobile device, this is now a non-issue. Furthermore, if the app was downloaded with an anonymous iCloud account (where you sign up for a free iCloud email to access the App Store w/ out needing to provide any personal data or credit card on file) then there are really no breadcrumbs for the VPN provider to initially identify the user. To go a step further, if the iPhone was setup on a prepaid wireless account, this would be another layer towards anonymity. VPNs can’t see cellular logs (phone calls and regular text messages) they also wouldn’t be able to see iMessage content because that would be SSL protected on Apple’s servers. Actually, partitioning up activity on your device with different providers who don’t communicate with each other would be beneficial. For instance, if Apple only sees your iMessages and Verizon only sees your texts/phone calls and the VPN only sees your web browsing, it would essentially equal more security in the bigger sense of the definition. Allowing a single entity to view all activity would allow that entity to develop a more personalized view of who you are.

    • Bill, you make some pretty bold statements. Would you care to cite your sources for some of them? Additionally, AdBl0ck was not as effective as AdBlock for iOS, as stated. I’m not the only one to use it who had everything disconnect when AdBl0ck couldn’t connect. For both those reasons, I’ll stick with recommending AdBlock for iOS over AdBl0ck.

  2. Never had an issue with adbl0ck other than when the vpn wouldn’t connect internet stopped working but it was worth it since it blocked ads. Another plus last time I used it there was no icon. I deleted all content and settings and now I can’t reinstall adbl0ck so we’ll see how good this one mentioned works

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