Only two days after releasing the iOS 9 content blocker app Peace developer Marco Arment has pulled it from Apple's App Store and killed any plans to release updates. He pulled the app not because of bugs, but instead because he wasn't comfortable being the arbiter of what we could and couldn't see on websites in Mobile Safari.
Peace was an app that enabled iOS 9's Web content blocking feature. It sped up website loading by using Ghostery's database to block superfluous content which includes some on-site ads, but didn't offer fine-tuned controls for choosing exactly which content would be blocked.
Mr. Arment said in a blog post on his website,
Peace required that all ads be treated the same — all-or-nothing enforcement for decisions that aren't black and white. This approach is too blunt, and Ghostery and I have both decided that it doesn't serve our goals or beliefs well enough. If we're going to effect positive change overall, a more nuanced, complex approach is required than what I can bring in a simple iOS app.
Peace quickly jumped to the top selling spot on the App Store during the two days it was available, which means Mr. Arment likely made a tidy sum considering users were paying US$2.99 to download it.
He said in his blog post that selling Peace wasn't sitting well with him. "Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don't deserve the hit," he said.
Mr. Arment went on to say he doesn't have an issue with content blockers, but doesn't feel comfortable profiting from one while "being the arbiter of what's blocked."
The end result? Goodbye, Peace. It's already gone from the App Store, and there won't be any updates. Users who want a refund can request one from Apple, and everyone else can continue to use Peace until iOS changes enough to break it.