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Apple approves blocking ads in Apple News

Been Choice, an iOS app which blocks ads while browsing, also blocks ads appearing in other apps on a system, including Apple's own Apple News.

It is currently only available on the US app store, and works by funnelling all the phone’s web traffic through a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN is run by Been itself, which then strips out the adverts before they arrive at the user’s phone.

A similar thing was attempted by AdBlock Plus on Google's Android system, but was quickly removed from the Google Play Store. Google said it “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorised manner”.

It is unclear whether Apple knows Been Choice blocks ads in Apple News or not, but the Been Choice iTunes page explains exactly what it can do.

There is another ethical issue with this principle of work - if a user wants all the ads in various apps to be blocked, it means that all traffic must run through the ad blocker’s own servers. For some users, that may be a step too far in terms of trust, although Been’s co-founder, Dave Yoon, promised that the company wouldn’t store any of the intercepted information:

“While we inspect headers and the body, no user content is stored, and our filtering is done on the fly,” he told TechCrunch (opens in new tab). “This approach may be more familiar in its corporate form. For example, companies use deep packet inspection on their managed devices to ensure that sensitive information never leaves internal corporate networks.”

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.