Saturday, 19 September 2015 23:22

Marco Arment no longer at Peace, pulls ad-blocking app Featured


Famed iOS developer, Marco Arment, is no longer at peace with his iOS 9 ad-blocking app, Peace, and he’s given us a piece of his mind.

The top iOS 9 ad-blocking app, and indeed the top app on the entire app store has been Peace - powered by ad and tracker-blocking Ghostery’s database.

Ghostery is software for your PC and Mac that lets you block ads, trackers and even discussion tools like Disqus, Livefyre, Facebook comments and others and it has granular control - so you can choose which ad networks, trackers and comment systems you might want to let through.

Although Ghostery’s database is brilliant, and was also deemed as such by Marco Arment - who was going to add the Ghostery software’s level of blocking or whitelisting granularity into the app, it is no more.

As posted at Arment’s site, in a post entitled ‘Just doesn’t feel good’, Arment says: “ I’ve pulled Peace from the App Store. I’m sorry to all of my fans and customers who bought this on my name, expecting it to be supported for longer than two days. It’ll keep working for a long time if you already have it, but with no updates.”

Arment also notes that anyone who wants a refund can find out how to do that from an iMore article here, something that incidentally works with any iOS app you might be unsatisfied with, not just Arment’s Peace.

He goes on to note that reaching the top spot in the US App Store is “a massive achievement that should be the highlight of my professional career”, and that if his podcasting app Overcast “even broke the top 100, I’d be over the moon.”

However, his success with ad-blocking isn’t sitting right with Arment, and it certainly isn’t giving him any peace.

Although Arment had promised to bring blocking granularity into an update to Peace, he doesn’t like the way his app has blocked the income generating potential of sites, especially to people who “don’t deserve the hit.”

While Arment thinks ad-blockers are still necessary, and that Ghostery has the best database, he hasn’t enjoyed the experience, and he’s pulling out saying “it’s simply not worth it”.

He adds that “I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to turn away an opportunity like this, and I don’t begrudge anyone else who wants to try it. I’m just not built for this business.”

He suggests you use Ghostery on your desktop, and to try competitors such as Purify and Crystal on iOS, and that working on his Overcast app gave him the joy that Peace didn’t.

Part of Arment reasoning might be because the invitation-only ad network he's part of, called Deck, might not have been too happy Deck's ads were blocked. Or perhaps Arment was getting too much heat from other publishers. Perhaps Arment just didn't feel good about the whole thing as he plainly says. He notes it's ad-blocking is a low-level, first-world problem kind of thing, but he just doesn't want to be part of it anymore. 

So, Arment has made his peace with things, and given us a piece of his mind. If you are a Peace user, Arment says “it’ll keep working for a long time if you already have it, but with no updates” and that if you want a refund, one is available.

Other ad-blockers are available if you want them, with some other app now destined to be the top of the ad-blocking heap.

So, that’s that. Peace out.


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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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