Popular iOS Ad-Blocking App Pulled From App Store

Peace, the most popular ad-blocking app for iOS, was pulled from the App Store by its developer. Marco Arment developed the app and said in a blog post Saturday that he didn’t feel right about his decision to publish the app. After a brief time on the App Store, Peace became a top seller. Just days after the app went live, Arment removed it from Apple’s App Store.

“Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have. Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.”

As Nilay Patel of The Verge explains, the recently released iOS 9 enables apps to block certain content throughout iOS. Apps like Peace took advantage of this new feature, allowing users to stop advertisements from loading.

Ad-blockers have been controversial since they were released to the public. Many people love them because they keep them from seeing most online advertisements. On the other hand, they also keep websites from making vital ad revenue. Without ad revenue, many websites would simply shut down.

While some are quick to bash Apple for allowing ad-blocking, others blame the publishers themselves. John Gruber, a noted Apple blogger, said in a post that he believes content publishers are responsible for the rise of ad-blockers. Gruber also attacked ad networks who he described as “user-hostile.”

“It’s because of the choices the publishers themselves made, years ago, to allow themselves to become dependent on user-hostile ad networks that slow down the web, waste precious device battery life, and invade our privacy. Apple has simply enabled us, the users who are fed up with this crap, to do something about it.”

One place where ads will continue to be served is in Apple’s News app. Advertisements served in News are unblockable, so even apps like Peace can’t stop them from being served to readers.

In his blog post, Marco mentions that he still believes in ad-blockers, but that he just doesn’t enjoy being the one behind ad-blocking. Alternatives to Peace are still available on the App Store. Some alternative apps like Purify and Crystal were in Arment’s words, “about to surpass Peace anyway.”

If you bought Peace and want a refund, Marco Arment offered a link to a tutorial on how to get a refund. Usually, it’s as simple as clicking a link at the bottom of your iTunes receipt email.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]