How to install and configure the 1Blocker ad blocker in iOS 9
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
iOS 9 has been released, and one of its most appreciated features is content blocking. Developers have been quick to release a number of different ad blockers, and one of the most prominent is 1Blocker. 1Blocker lets you customize your blocking for ads, trackers, social media widgets, adult sites, cookies, URLs, page elements, web fonts and more.
1Blocker is free to download but the free version only lets you use one category of blocks, so you’ll need to buy the in-app purchase of unlimited blockers for $2.99 to get the most out of the app.
I installed the 1Blocker ad blocker on my iPhone 6 Plus, and so far it’s been doing a very good job for me while I browse the web in Safari. I think it’s easily worth the $2.99 that it cost me.
How to install and enable the 1Blocker ad blocker in iOS 9
Here’s how you can install and enable the 1Blocker ad blocker in iOS 9:
5. Tap the 1Blocker button to enable 1Blocker in Safari.
6. Open the 1Blocker app and tap the big white button to enable your blockers.
And that’s all you need to do to enable the 1Blocker ad blocker in Safari. But remember that 1Blocker offers some powerful customization options that you’ll want to explore too.
How to customize the 1Blocker ad blocker in iOS 9
Here’s how you can configure the 1Blocker ad blocker in iOS 9:
1. Open the 1Blocker app on your iOS device.
2. Tap on the Customize link at the bottom right of the app.
3. Scroll down to see the list of blocking options and tap on the ones you want to enable.
You can choose to block ads, trackers, social sharing widgets, custom web fonts, disqus comments, adult sites, URLs, bookies, page elements, and you can even add custom packages via the 1blocker.com site. Take your time and look carefully at each option.
If you want to customize a blocking category such as Trackers, tap on it and you’ll see a list of what it blocks. You can then toggle the blocking switches on or off with a tap if you see anything you want to change in 1Blocker.
1Blocker’s weakness: No ability to whitelist sites
As good as it is, 1Blocker has a major weakness. You cannot whitelist sites right now, and that’s a real shame. I make it a point to whitelist sites I really like and who are responsible in the ads that they display. I want the sites I enjoy to earn revenue so they can keep producing the content I read, so a whitelist is a must-have for any ad blocker.
However, right now I’m giving 1Blocker a temporary pass on the whitelist issue since it was just released. The 1Blocker developer has stated on Twitter that whitelisting is coming to the app soon, so I’m willing to be patient and let him get it done.
The sooner the 1Blocker ad blocking app has whitelisting, the better though because supporting good sites via whitelisting is important to me. Hopefully we’ll see an update to 1Blocker that includes whitelisting soon.
1Blocker also doesn’t block ads from The Deck
Another potential issue for some users is the fact that 1Blocker doesn’t block ads from The Deck. The Deck is an elite advertising network that shows ads on sites like Daring Fireball. The ads are actually quite inoffensive since they aren’t animated and apparently don’t track users.
However, some folks simply want to avoid all advertising regardless of whether it’s from The Deck or any other advertising network, and they have every right to do so if they wish. But, unfortunately for those users, 1Blocker doesn’t block ads from The Deck when you enable it in iOS 9.
I think the 1Blocker developer might want to rethink his position on this, otherwise he’s probably going to be accused of engaging in some favoritism by automatically whitelisting ads from The Deck while blocking so many other ad networks. It’s his app, so of course he can do as he likes with it but there’s a bit of inconsistency there that clouds an otherwise fine ad blocking app.
At the very least he should probably add some kind of a note on the app store page for 1Blocker so users know that ads from The Deck are whitelisted by default. At least that way potential purchasers of 1Block would know about The Deck being whitelisted by default before they pay for the app.
I suspect that whitelisting ads from The Deck by default might cost the 1Blocker developer some sales as more users become aware of it. If one of the big selling points of 1Blocker is that it gets rid of advertising then it really ought to include ads from The Deck, as well as all the other advertising networks.
1Blocker’s customizations make it a powerful contender among ad blockers
While some folks want a “set it and forget it” type app with limited or no customization options, I tend toward the other side of things. I really like 1Blocker’s ability to customize things, and it has become my preferred ad blocker in iOS 9 right now. That may change if another app offers a better alternative, but so far I’ve been very happy with 1Blocker with the exception of the automatic whitelisting of ads from The Deck.
I hate social media buttons and trackers in particular, so 1Blocker made me very happy by being able to block them in Safari on my iPhone 6 Plus. It doesn’t get rid of all of them, but it does do a reasonable job of blocking the trackers that come with them.
I’ll still see some of the dumb “like” type buttons but without the numbers of likes being shown on them and that sort of thing. Ideally 1Blocker would simply remove all social media widgets and buttons from every site so that I don’t even have to see them.
Fanboy’s Social List might be a big help in that regard. You can use it in Adblock Plus and UBlock Origin in desktop Safari, so including it in an update to 1Blocker for mobile Safari might be a good idea for the developer to consider.
So if you’re in the market for an ad blocker in iOS 9, be sure to check out 1Blocker. It might be just what the doctor ordered for you to ditch obnoxious web ads, social media trackers and a bunch of other stuff, as long as you don’t mind seeing ads from The Deck.
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