Ad blockers are all the rage on iOS 9 these days, with many users buying them in the app store and installing them on their iPhones, iPads and iPods. Crystal is one of the most popular ad blockers for iOS, and I'll show you how to use it in this post.
Crystal sells for just .99 cents in the app store.
How to install and enable the Crystal ad blocker in iOS 9
Here's how you can install and enable the Crystal ad blocker in iOS 9:
1. Download the Crystal app from the app store on your iOS device.
2. Open the Settings app.
3. Tap on Safari.
4. Scroll down and tap on Content blockers.
5. Tap the Crystal button to enable Crystal in Safari.
And that's all you need to do to start using the Crystal ad blocker in Safari in iOS 9. Crystal will update itself regularly, so your blocklist will remain up to date automatically.
How to report sites in Crystal
Crystal does a very good job in blocking ads, but if you find a site where an ad or two slips through, you can report the site to the Crystal developer so it gets added to the list. You can also report sites that might not be working properly with the Crystal ad blocker enabled, so the developer can fix the problem.
Here's how you can report a site in the Crystal ad blocker:
1. Tap on the the Sharing icon.
2. Tap on More.
3. Tap on the Crystal Report Site button to enable it.
Now when you click the Sharing icon, you'll see the Crystal Report Site icon. When you tap it a screen will popup with the URL of the site, a box for comments from you, and the option of tapping on a Ads Not Blocked or Website Not Working tab.
Once you've typed in your comments, just tap the Submit button to send the information to the Crystal ad blocker developer.
Note that you can also report a site by opening the Crystal app and tapping on the Report Site button.
Crystal still needs a whitelist feature
As I write this post, Crystal - unlike Purify - doesn't offer the ability to whitelist sites. I have no doubt though that this feature will be added in an update to Crystal at some point in the near future. But I note it here for those who regard whitelisting as a necessary and important feature for ad blocking software.
I think it's a great idea to whitelist the sites that you care about and that run reasonable ads. So I look forward to seeing a whitelisting feature added to the Crystal ad blocker. Hopefully the developer will get it done soon.
Crystal doesn't block social media buttons
I was somewhat disappointed that Crystal does not block social media buttons. I know that some folks don't care about them, but I sure do. I hate seeing them all over the web, they are such an eyesore.
Hopefully the Crystal developer will at least add the option of blocking social media buttons in a future release. Some of the other ad blockers already do that, so it is quickly becoming a must-have feature for some iOS users.
Crystal blocks ads by The Deck by default
One other thing I noticed was that Crystal - unlike 1Blocker - blocks ads from The Deck by default. The Deck has some very good ads that aren't animated and that don't track users. But as much as I like The Deck's ads, I'm glad that they are blocked by default.
Why do I feel this way? Because I think it's unwise for ad blocking developers to arbitrarily decide which sites are whitelisted by default and which ones are blocked. That decision should be solely in the hands of the user, not the developer. When a user buys ad blocking software, he or she has a right to expect it to block as many ads as possible.
I have no doubt that many users will whitelist ads from The Deck when that feature is available in Crystal. And I think that's a great idea because of how The Deck's ads work, but I don't think that The Deck should be given a default exemption from any ad blockers. Users will make that decision when whitelisting is added to Crystal.
Crystal is definitely worth getting
I've been using Crystal and I'm impressed with it. I think it's well worth the .99 cents. It's done a good job in cleaning up web pages on my iPhone, and I think it works very well for the kind of user that wants to "set it and forget it" rather than tweak a lot of settings.
So if you're in the market for an ad blocker, be sure to check out Crystal.
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