Well that was quick. Seems like only yesterday we were predicting Apple would pull Been Choice from the AppStore: The rapidly ascending new app not only blocked ads in the Safari web browser, but also pulled off the impressive feat of blocking ads in ad-supported apps downloaded from Apple’s AppStore.
As we predicted, that didn’t fly very well with Apple who as we all know isn’t actually interested in blocking ads at all — but is interested in knocking Google to the mat with a punch leveled somewhere south of the belt-line.
As we surmised at the time, it looked like Apple’s AppStore censors had probably fallen asleep at the wheel when they let Been Choice slip by. Some techno-pundits actually thought Apple was allowing the in-app ad-blocker past the censors as some great philosophical statement about ad blocking — at whatever the cost. Except, no. That’s not what it was at all. As it turns out, when Apple profits are on the line, the censors have free reign to retroactively ban whoever they like, no matter how absurd the PR spin.
Today, Been Choice was pulled from the AppStore in record time.
And what reason did Apple give for snuffing this app? Why, it’s for your “protection” of course. You see, despite the dozens of other apps on the AppStore that make use of proxy servers (as is Been Choice’s modus operandi), we are being asked to believe that Been Choice is inherently “unsafe” because it uses a proxy server. Really? Proxy servers are bad now? One must note that this is an all new concern on Apple’s part, and it just so happens to magically coincide with the launch of a certain proxy-serving app that happens to thwart Apple’s own advertising revenue.
Here’s the official line, via FT
Apple raised concerns related to the way [Been Choice] — and other apps that it did not name but also pulled — intercepted users’ internet traffic. In particular, Been Choice disrupted a security protocol called SSL that is used by companies such as Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Yahoo to encrypt the data that passes between a mobile device and their own servers.
Sure, Apple. After years of other apps that use proxy servers, it’s suddenly a big deal to use a proxy server just two days after an app that blocks ads in apps hits the Appstore. Someone call captain obvious and tell him he can retire now.
Once again, to be clear: The ad blocking war has little to do with privacy or bandwidth at the end of the day. It has to do with users not wanting ads of any kind… and (quite clearly) Apple not wanting Google to exist.
Consider that next time you yield ground to ad blockers.