Content blocking with Safari

Apple is taking the privacy issue more and more seriously. For some time I thought, well, this could be just PR, but peeking into WWDC session 511, the message is clear: they’re not afraid to put meaning to the PR speak. In this session they explicitly endorse ad blocking. They say, we give you the tools, write the ad blockers already! Given the number of iOS/Mac devices out there, this will seriously hurt the media business in its current form.

Ad blockers will be developed by small indies, like Dean Murphy, who is working on Crystal, a new content blocker using this framework for iOS. He’s experimented with the technology a couple of months back, now he’s on a spree to get this content blocker out there with the release of iOS 9.

Dean yesterday published a new post outlining the capabilities of Crystal, and it’s very compelling:

On average, pages loaded 74% faster with Crystal and used 53% less bandwidth. Just by having Crystal installed, I saved a total of 70 seconds and 35MB of data on these 10 pages.

If you watch the WWDC session video, you’ll understand why: because the ad tracking JS code will not even hit your device, Safari will just ignore the references and not load them. Can’t wait to install Crystal.