It’s been an interesting couple of days for Marco Arment – the programmer who gave the world Tumblr and Instapaper (and less famously, a short-lived iOS Newsstand periodical called The Magazine) wrote a new Safari Content Blocker for iOS. Called Peace, and sold for $3, it shot straight to the top of Apple’s App Store sales charts directly it was released.
It’s blunt force trauma, certainly, and I understand his unease with blindly stopping everything. But the point remains just as it was a few months ago when Gruber first addressed this at DF: there is no way a 537-word text posting on a website should be a 14 MB download in the browser. None. And on mobile devices – where data is usually metered and where every electron of battery is precious – the current state of web advertising is untenable. It’s not the fact of advertising that gives offense; that ship sailed decades ago. It’s the fact that the advertising is so resource-hungry. This isn’t billboards on the road, it’s more like being forced to detour and drive down a side street composed of nothing but billboards in order to reach a destination that’s 90 degrees the other way.
If the phone has become the primary interface to the Internet for most people, this is a serious blow struck for the users, and one long overdue. Peace and Crystal are both on my iPhone, and they’re going nowhere.