Top iOS ad blocker ‘Peace’ gets yanked from the App Store

While the debate over the ethics of ad blocking tools rages on, the developer of Apple’s top mobile ad blocker app has decided to take a big step back by removing it from the App Store today.
Peace, the ad blocker app that is the subject of all this attention, debuted in the App Store just days ago with a $3 price tag, and quickly rose in popularity. Despite this, Peace’s developer Marco Arment elected to stop support for it and end further sales, which may seem a bit odd considering that he’s still in favor of ad blocking for a variety of reasons.
“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,” Arment wrote in a blog post about his decision. “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,” he added.
There are numerous reason for blocking advertising via a web browser — better privacy, faster page load times, more pleasurable web browsing experience — but, there are also some consequences. One of the biggest is that smaller web publishers (news and media sites in particular) are likely to take a financial hit, as Gigaom’s Nathaniel Mott pointed out previously.
Arment is confident that those who already purchased Peace will be able to use it without problems for the foreseeable future, even without developer support. He’s also offering to refund the purchase, and lists instructions for doing so on his website.
There is no shortage of ad blocking tools available, and with Apple coming out in support of the practice, there’s likely to be plenty of activity in this space going forward. That said, Peace will probably still be missed but web users shouldn’t have any trouble finding a replacement. The bigger issue will be in getting web publishers and advertisers to change how they operate, with greater considerations for privacy, ad obtrusiveness, and the like.

Popular media casting app AllCast is launching on iOS

iOS is great for using Airplay, but sending photos, videos or music to anything other than an Apple TV can be a bit more challenging. AllCast now wants to solve this with its new iOS app, which allows users to send their personal media to Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, Roku devices, Amazon’s Fire TV, Microsoft’s Xbox and a variety of smart TVs, as well as Apple TV.

AllCast is not a newcomer to personal media casting: The app has more than three million users on Android. In fact, AllCast was the very first app to bring personal media sharing to Chromecast, months before Google officially released an SDK to bring this functionality to third-party developers.


I had a brief chance to check out the AllCast for iOS app on my iPad this week, and it worked mostly as it should, allowing me to cast photos and videos both from the device itself as well as from Google+ to my Chromecast streaming stick. Casting from a DLNA media server also worked, but I couldn’t really get music casting to work with Chromecast. I also briefly tried AllCast for iOS in tandem with a Roku streaming stick, and had a bit of a rockier experience — casting photos worked fine, but videos and music wouldn’t play.

It’s also worth noting that AllCast for iOS still has fewer online content sources than AllCast for Android, but the app can already access content from Google+, Google Drive, Instagram and Dropbox — and even more if you pair it with a Plex Media Server. Plus if the pace of the Allcast for Android development is any indication, then we should be seeing more media sources (and hopefully fewer playback issues) very soon.

Allcast gets ready for iOS closed beta test

Popular Android media casting app Allcast is getting ready to take the leap to iPads and iPhones: Allcast developer Koushik “Koush” Dutta asked users to sign up for a closed beta test of Allcast for iOS on Google+ Friday. Dutta had first announced that he was bringing Allcast to iOS in late August, and at the time shared some first screenshots of the app. Allcast was the first Android app to bring personal media sharing to Chromecast back in 2013 even before Google had officially released the Chromecast SDK.

How to choose the best turn-by-turn app for your iOS device

As some app development teams race to include as many new features in their navigation apps as they can, others are creating complementary features outside those same apps. Perhaps there is no ‘one’ best solution anymore.