iOS 9: Purify ad blocker ready for beta testing

One of the first ad blockers for iOS 9 is looking for beta testers

Ad blockers will be coming to Apple's mobile devices when iOS 9 is released in September. Developers have been very busy getting them ready, and one of the first ad blockers is Purify. Purify seeks to cleanse the mobile Web of obnoxious advertising on all iOS devices.

The Purify developer recently posted a message in the Apple subreddit to let iOS users know that he's looking for beta testers:

About a month ago, I shared a sneak-peek of Purify, the upcoming content blocker for iOS 9 that makes the mobile Web beautiful again by eliminating unwanted bloat.

I have a couple of things to share with you today:

We've been doing benchmarks and tests using the top mobile websites and Purify, and we've seen over 50% bandwidth savings and 2x faster page load times! We think that's going to be really neat especially given that most people have metered data plans.

It's so awesome you guys want to help out beta-test Purify! Here's a link where you can sign-up to become a beta tester.

More at Reddit

Apple redditors responded with some thoughts of their own:

Mb862: "Awesome, signed up. Will you be doing a Safari extension with the same JSON? A big draw for me with Content Blockers is to have the same web on Mac and iOS."

Implonator: "Signed up, can't wait for a better browsing experience. Do you know if this also limits ads when you use webview in apps like AB?"

FrankP: "Does this eliminate App Store Redirects? That's all I really care about, some sites I visit are unusable."

HerrR: "Ugh. App store redirects on page load are awful. I make it a point to try to never visit those sites again once they hit me with one of those but I still run into them regularly."

ShervinHN: "Signed up! Hopefully I'm in. Especially since I have a data cap and that bandwidth saving helps a lot :)"

Funblasta: "Awesome! can't wait, would love to help testing. (iPad Air 2 dev beta 5)."

Cosmic_barrels: "Thank you for this Chris, signed up cannot wait to test out."

More at Reddit

As you can tell from the comments, most people on the Apple subreddit are looking forward to trying Purify on their iOS devices. One bone of contention in the thread that I omitted in the quote I included at the beginning of this post was a link to a weird video that didn't show anything about the beta version of Purify. Fortunately, there's an older video that will give you a taste of what Purify might have to offer:

I signed up for the Purify ad blocker beta for iOS 9

I'm very glad to see Purify reach the beta stage, I signed up to be a tester. I look forward to giving it a whirl on my iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which are running the current iOS 9 beta.

One of the things I have always hated about the web on iOS devices is the almost total lack of control over annoying advertising, trackers and - most of all - the awful social media buttons that plague the Web these days. Whenever I've used my iPad Air 2 for the Web, I've been stuck with all of those things without any options to control or limit them. But those days are coming to an end with the release of Purify and other content blockers for iOS 9.

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm obviously not against all advertising. I make my living writing for the Web, so I understand the need for ads to pay the bills. And I make it a point to whitelist the sites I like in my browser so I can support them. However, I also want the option of blocking sites that are too overwhelming in terms of their ads.

And, as I mentioned earlier, I detest social media buttons. I don't want to wait for a Web page to load while some dumb Facebook "like" button takes forever to show up. I closed my Facebook account ages ago, so I could care less about "liking" articles. Ditto with Twitter, Google+, etc. And I don't care to be tracked by the social media networks either.

And yes, I know we have social media buttons on this site. But that's not my call so please hold off on the "you're a hypocrite" remarks in the comments. I dispensed with social media buttons on my own blogs ages ago.

Purify might be just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully it will let me whitelist the sites that matter to me, while getting rid of social media buttons and other web debris that I don't care to see when I'm using Safari in iOS.

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