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Mobile ad blocking surges in popularity after iOS 9 update

Apple has opened the gates for ad blocking services in iOS 9 and it looks like a lot of people want to see the end of all mobile ads. Three of the top ten apps on the App Store currently include Peace, Crystal, and Purify, all three able to install ad blocking software on Safari.

All three offer basic ad blocking services, on top of removing auto-play videos, tracking, and other types of content that can slow down website speeds. It is the first surge of ad blocking software on mobile, and is expected to harm the advertising industry.

Since the mobile web is already quite awful, apps like Flipboard, Apple News, and Facebook’s Instant Articles will only become more popular tools for publishers. These apps cannot be forced to not show ads, unless the app developer includes those settings.

Apple has its own ad blocking services built into iOS 9. It is the first time Apple has taken a stab at the advertising industry, which seems odd considering it offers iAds for app developers.

At the end of the day, Apple does not need advertising to remain profitable. In fact, service sales for the App Store and iTunes account for less than 10 per cent of all the company’s revenue. Most is made off iPhone sales, with iPad and Mac coming a bit behind.

The mobile web needs to smarten up by offering adverts that don’t impact browser performance. Perhaps this surge in ad blocking tools is a way for advertisers and publishers to heed the call, but we doubt it, since regular web continues to offer poor adverts despite AdBlock Plus' enormous growth.

Interestingly, Google also allowed AdBlock to add its own browser to the Google Play store. The company did not say it would start allowing ad blocking software on Chrome, even though it does allow AdBlock Plus to run on the Chrome web store.