Friday, October 02

Block & Save

A new developer API included in the latest release of iOS (iOS 9) provides a quick & easy way for developers to implement content blockers, specifically to block web-based advertising and tracking. I am not opposed to all advertising or even tracking1, but mobile advertising has reached ridiculous levels of ridiculous. As it turns out, installing and using ad blockers might not just save you some annoyance, it could potentially save you time and money2.

Before he decided to pull it, I purchased and installed Marco Arment’s Peace app. I recommend you install and use an ad blocker as well. Ben Brooks put together a multi-part review of some of the most popular ad blocker apps so far, so check out his recommendations.

One more important note: after you install the app, you’ll need to take some additional steps to activate the content blocking in mobile Safari, so be sure to follow the steps outlined by the app you install. Trust me, it is well worth the effort.

P.S. While you’re messing around with iOS 9, you may also want to consider disabling Wi-Fi Assist if you don’t have a high capacity mobile data plan.

  1. I’m sparing you the nuance of this debate because it will lead to intense and unnecessary rambling.  ↩

  2. It’s worth pointing out that ad blockers generally block tracking scripts/cookies and custom web fonts, which typically slow down web page load times. This site uses a custom web font, so I apologize if things look a little strange after you install an ad blocker. I’ll get to work on finding a more graceful fallback. ↩

Friday, March 20

Requiem for MagSafe

When 9to5mac first broke the rumor of the single port MacBook, I too began lamenting the alleged demise of the MagSafe adapter. Though it’s only saved my devices a handful of times, it is one of those delight in the details features of a MacBook that makes the hardware such a joy to use. My reaction to the news spanned the range of denial, mourning, revelation and acceptance. The revelation and acceptance phases are best represented by Ben Brooks’ take a few days after the official announcement:

USB-C won’t cause more crashing MacBooks, just as long as you use the MacBook as it is intended: on battery power. That’s the direction computing is headed in: devices that only need to be charged while you sleep.

Some have been clamoring for the convergence of iOS and the Mac, but they don’t recognize when it’s right under their nose. That’s because they’re thinking about it in terms of software, when in reality the true innovation will come with the hardware convergence.