iOS 9 Content Blockers Mini-Reviews

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,130
16,778
And that's fantastic if you're reading on your phone. I was reading on my computer at work. So the link doesn't help me a lot.
Well, you can click on the link and be taken to the app's details where you could see the app icon and other app information.
 

ardchoille50

macrumors 68020
Feb 6, 2014
2,142
1,215
And that's fantastic if you're reading on your phone. I was reading on my computer at work. So the link doesn't help me a lot.
Can you copy the link and email it to yourself? If so, you can simply open the email on your phone and problem solved. Or copy the link, add it to Pocket or reading list for when you are on your phone.
 

jack 011

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2015
67
17
Silentium is a content blocker geared towards those who like to have some accessories with their budget car.

Silentium app design - A




The app colors (light teal, darker teal, and white) are easy on the eyes. The app is straight-forward with easy to maneuver to sections and toggles. The app comes with built in app feedback, Whitelisting, and the ability to fine tune content blocking ability via the "Advanced" option, as seen in the picture.

Engaging the "Advanced" option brings up the following toggle options:

Low Traffic Modes
Block images toggle
Block scripts toggle

If you need to restrict websites even more by blocking images and scripts you can do that with these two toggles. The developers make a point to warn users under these toggles, that enabling these options may cause websites to not load properly.

Extra

Remove social buttons
Remove comments

"Enable these to remove share buttons and comments (Disqus, Facebook) from web pages."

Experimental

Remove cookie - law banners
Block adult websites

Silentium

Force rules update
Restore default configuration

*Note: When the "advanced" options are enabled for the first time, Silentium updates the latest filter list for the enabled togge. The app informs you that it may take 30 seconds for the update to complete. It also tells you when the update has been completed, which I like.

Silentium ad-blocking - A

Overall, Selenium's blocking was excellent. That is not to say there weren't any site loading / display problems. There were. However, the few problem sites are ones that other sites have had a problem with, with initial release of the app.

In my testing on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air, Yahoo sponsored ads were not blocked.

There is no such thing as a content blocker that can properly block every ad and property render every page on the internet. Please keep that in mind when being quick to throw away one content blocker for another, just because one app didn't block a certain site correctly the first time.

Silentium’s blocking power was tested using the following websites Time Magazine, CNN, Yahoo, Macrumors, Amazon,*** Fox News, Huffington Post, iMore, The Verge, National Geographic, Crackle, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Kat.cr, The Pirate... MacWorld,** MSNBC, Apple, Ebaums World, ImDB, YouTube, Hotels.com, Digiday, Reddit, Craigslist (local), Cult of Mac, blog.buttermouth, Cnet,* Courier.co.uk.*

Adblocker did a very good job blocking ads. Unlike other recent content blocker reviews, it handled MacWorld, courier.co.uk and several other sites just fine. I tried the toggles under the "Advanced" menu, and the different toggle options worked well.

Unless otherwise noted by the * symbol, all sites loaded correctly without any pop ups or blank advertising boxes.

* Site did not load or did not load correctly.

** Site loaded correctly but clicking links on main page or subsequent page didn't work.

*** Site loaded correctly but did not block all ad(s) on main page or subsequent site pages.

**** Site did not correctly load all non ad page elements (e.g. pictures, video, text etc.)

***** Site loaded correctly with no ads or pop ups. Empty advertisement blocks were noted.

****** Site loaded correctly but did not stop pop up message or redirects.

Silentium speed - A

While your internet speed mileage with the app may vary, (due to several variables) I found Silentium did a fast job of rendering and loading webpages. I did not encounter any lagging or stalling during testing.

Silentium price and developer contact - A

For the price, (introductory $1.99) Selenium is in line with other paid apps.

I found the developers to be very responsive in addressing questions about their app on their Twitter page, as well as their dedicated website. In my opinion, the latter carries even more weight than the former. If I find an app that is free or only $0.99, and has crappy or no customer service at all, I am going to go with an app that charges more and has what I believe to be good customer service. If you reach out to Silentium, they will do their best to respond and address your questions.

Silentium overall rating - A

Silentium offers a lot of power under the hood, without adding so much that it breaks websites or leaves one spending more time tweaking the app, than enjoying the experience of the internet. The developer's are eager to do the very best they can with the app and in my opinion, they are off to an excellent start.

I feel good about recommending Silentium.

*Disclosure: Review was conducted using Silentium 1.1 which is set to be released next week.
When do you think this price will increase?
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
12,596
12,029
In the middle of several books.

Blacklist ($0.99) is a minimalist content blocker. Whitelisting is not available nor is in app feedback. The only screen you see inside the app, is a centered 4 point guide noting how to enable Blacklist in Settings > Safari.

From the iTunes Preview page:

"Description

**Priced at $0.99 for a limited time!**
Blacklist Ad Blocker removes any and all advertising that you see throughout your Safari browsing experience. Four simple set-up steps allows you to explore the web distraction-free."

I understand the need to market one's product in such a way that catches the eye of potential customers, especially with how competitive the content blocker app segment is quickly becoming. At the same time, I believe one needs to be careful not to paint oneself into a corner by making absolute software ability claims, such as underlined (for reference) above. Such language could result in customers seeking refunds, because the app did not block any and all advertisements. In my opinion, the developer should take heed, and consider editing the iTunes Preview to something that is not made in absolute terms.

Blacklist app design - D-

There is no Whitelisting, social widget blocking, rule creation or any of the other extras found in some of the previously reviewed apps.Blacklist is geared towards, and marketed to, people looking for a lean, mean content blocking machine. In my opinion, a paid app should include more than a simple four point text screen telling the customer how to enable to the app in Safari. At the very least, it should include a way for the customer to make contact with the developer, so that he or she can report problems and suggestions for the app.

Blacklist blocking power - A

If I judge blocking results in light of the claim made in the app store, it would be an F. However, I don't think that would be right of me, because I believe the developer got a little too zealous (being new) with his marketing. He seems like a nice guy, and I don't think it serves me or this site well, if I fail to remember, that we all make mistakes sometimes.

An A rating does not mean that the app did a perfect job with every site tested. It means that the majority of the sites tested loaded correctly and content could be accessed as intended. Any problems found were what I consider minor (as a whole). Your individual experience with the app may be different from mine, in regards to internet usage and display.

Blacklist did a good job blocking ads. There were some problems with properly display and rendering of some sites tested. The same can be said of any of the content apps.

Blacklist blocking power was tested using the following websites Time Magazine, CNN, Yahoo, Macrumors, Amazon,*** Fox News, Huffington Post,***** iMore, The Verge, National Geographic, Crackle, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Kat.cr,****** The Pirate...****** MacWorld,** MSNBC, Apple, Ebaums World, ImDB, YouTube, Hotels.com, Digiday, Reddit, Craigslist (local), Cult of Mac, blog.buttermouth, ESPN, Welt.de, Ciudad.com.ar, ABC.com.py, Times of Israel, 9to5toys, Straits Times, Str.sg, info.singtel.com, Courier.co.uk.**

Unless otherwise noted by the * symbol, all sites loaded correctly without any pop ups or blank advertising boxes.

* Site did not load

** Site loaded correctly but clicking links on main page or subsequent page didn't work.

*** Site loaded correctly but did not block all ad(s) on main page or subsequent site pages.

**** Site did not correctly load all non ad page elements (e.g. pictures, video, text etc.)

***** Site loaded correctly with no ads or pop ups. Empty advertisement blocks were noted.

****** Site loaded correctly but did not stop pop up message or redirects.


Blacklist speed - B

I did not notice any lagging or stalling during the test. For those wondering (speed wise) how it compares to the other content blockers, it is what I consider to be 'middle of the road.' I didn't have to sit and wait for sites to load, nor did I see anything that made me take notice. At the same time, Blacklisted is not marketed as being the fastest content blocker on the market.

Blacklist price and developer support - A

The developer has been active on the Macrumors forums, and has been prompt to respond to my email on his site. I can't comment on app support, as the app just released today. Price wise, the app is in line with several other content blockers. Rating for this category was primarily made on price, and does not reflect consideration and thoughts found in the other categories.

Blacklist overall rating - C-

As a whole, I think $0.99 for an app is an excellent price, provided a little more effort has been put into it, than just creating an engine. In my opinion, that is what we have here, an engine with an X logo over it.

I realize that a dollar is not a lot of money, especially when one has spent time creating a product for market. At the same time, when people pay money for a product, they have expectations that enter into the customer use and appreciation experience aspect of the app equation. And in my opinion, Blacklist comes up short in the overall experience of the app.

Please do not misunderstand me, or read something into my review that I did not say. I am not saying, that the developer has not worked hard to get what appears to be his first app to market. I am suggesting that the developer reconsider the app design and layout, so that it is more welcoming, informative, and has a mechanism for customers to make contact. And as noted at the beginning of the review, the developer might want to consider revamping the app summary etc. in iTunes.

At this moment in time, I believe that there are several other free apps that do as good a job as what Blacklist currently offers via the different categories noted. I think Blacklist has potential and it is one that I will keep an eye on, as I would like to do a follow up review with the next major update.

*Disclosure: I contacted the developer asking for a redemption code so that I could do a review for the forum members. The developer has been very cordial and prompt with his word. I appreciate that very much. I hope that my review will be seen and received in the kind spirit intended, as I believe we are here to help one another as best we can.





 
Last edited:

asleep

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2007
3,452
1,404
The developer told me today, that the price will probably go up tomorrow. He didn't say how much, though.
Dang, that was fast.

$2.99 now for Silentium.

I read your post and was going to buy it blind at $1.99. Guess I'll wait for the best to win out while using Crystal.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,075
4,630
San Jose, CA
Hm, somehow it seems wrong to me if a simple content blocker extension costs as much as Monument Valley, which took orders of magnitude more work to make ...
 

scjr

macrumors 68020
Jan 28, 2013
2,184
1,324
I've bought a few. I figure, it's helping the devs and worth the investment.

Who knows, one of these apps could outshine the others in the future. :)
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
12,596
12,029
In the middle of several books.
I've bought a few. I figure, it's helping the devs and worth the investment.

Who knows, one of these apps could outshine the others in the future. :)
I am looking at the current crop of content blockers, and I see potential in each one. And like you, I want each one of them to work hard so that they can get even better. it is going to take some time. If developers will put the extra effort into not only their apps, but also public relations and beta testing, it will pay off in the long run.
 

seviu

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2014
9
23
I am the developer of AdMop. Thanks for the nice review! The reason why I did not reply earlier is because I have been very busy optimizing the rules and solving every email I got with suggestions of websites with ads that AdMop users would like to block. I am so busy that I have not been able to follow up into the new ad blockers that have been released in the last few days.


While Admop doesn't come with power windows, leather seats or a Bose sound system, it will get you from point A to point B in solid fashion.


For those seeking a free content blocker without all the bells and whistles, and don't care about having the fastest blocker so long as the ads get blocked, I recommend Admop. In my opinion, it is just above Freedom.

Grade B+

*Note A little bit more leeway is shown with free content blockers versus paid ones. In my opinion, those who purchase apps should expect a higher standard (in many areas).
The reason why AdMop has not such a fancy user interface as other content blockers is because I started implementing it quite late in the game (two weeks before iOS9 was launched), and I was only to achieve what I thought was the minimum functionality a content blocker should have: a basic set of rules: ads, analytics, social networks and language ad networks... And to be able to update the rules.

Talking about updating the rules: the main Ads rules used to be 30Kb, and it is now 70Kb. I am now able to block youtube ads, yahoo ads, and a million of other ones. So being able to update them was a good call.

By the way I am now working in new features like whitelisting, do-it-yourself rules and more filters like EU Cookies.

If you miss a feature you might think would be useful please tell me, I will gladly do it.

And finally, I am trying to answer all emails within 24 hours. Maybe it is not the fanciest ad blocker, but I can tell you that it is the one that is getting the fastest support out there :). If you want me to block an Ad, just drop me an email through the app.
 

scjr

macrumors 68020
Jan 28, 2013
2,184
1,324
By the way I am now working in new features like whitelisting and more filters like EU Cookies. If you miss a feature you might think would be useful please tell me, I will gladly do it.
Can you implement just one slider (to turn on AdMop) under the Safari Content Blocker option and place the other options in the app itself? Thanks.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
12,596
12,029
In the middle of several books.
I am the developer of AdMop. Thanks for the nice review! The reason why I did not reply earlier is because I have been very busy optimizing the rules and solving every email I got with suggestions of websites with ads that AdMop users would like to block. I am so busy that I have not been able to follow up into the new ad blockers that have been released in the last few days.



The reason why AdMop has not such a fancy user interface as other content blockers is because I started implementing it quite late in the game (two weeks before iOS9 was launched), and I was only to achieve what I thought was the minimum functionality a content blocker should have: a basic set of rules: ads, analytics, social networks and language ad networks... And to be able to update the rules.

Talking about updating the rules: the main Ads rules used to be 30Kb, and it is now 70Kb. I am now able to block youtube ads, yahoo ads, and a million of other ones. So being able to update them was a good call.

By the way I am now working in new features like whitelisting, do-it-yourself rules and more filters like EU Cookies.

If you miss a feature you might think would be useful please tell me, I will gladly do it.

And finally, I am trying to answer all emails within 24 hours. Maybe it is not the fanciest ad blocker, but I can tell you that it is the one that is getting the fastest support out there :). If you want me to block an Ad, just drop me an email through the app.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my review, and to receive it in the manner intended. I appreciate it.

I am glad to read that you have been able to make some updates to the app, and look forward to doing a follow up review, one you get done with a major update. Please contact me when your app is ready for review (again).

I like the sound of your app being able to block Yahoo ads etc. :)
 
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seviu

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2014
9
23
Can you implement just one slider (to turn on AdMop) under the Safari Content Blocker option and place the other options in the app itself? Thanks.
Once I have whitelisting done, being able to remove all the rules, or activate / deactivate rules on a per-rule basis should be fairly trivial. I will add it to my trello board :)
 

seviu

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2014
9
23
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my review, and to receive it in the manner intended. I appreciate it.

I am glad to read that you have been able to make some updates to the app, and look forward to doing a follow up review, one you get done with a major update. Please contact me when your app is ready for review (again).

I like the sound of your app being able to block Yahoo ads etc. :)
I am trying to block everything the users tell me. In a way the more emails I get, the better the ruleset gets. I am now on version 30 of the rules, which means that i have been doing 5 major rules updates per day.

I will tell you when I have a major version ready. I hope that in a week, plus another week that takes Apple to review updates.
 

hank moody

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2015
702
326
Awesome.

And that is why most devs wont answer emails. They are busy trying to improve the code/lists.
 

scjr

macrumors 68020
Jan 28, 2013
2,184
1,324
Awesome.

And that is why most devs wont answer emails. They are busy trying to improve the code/lists.
Out of all the content blockers I own, Purify dev is most difficult to even get a reply from.

The AdMop dev says that he's trying to reply to all emails in 24 hours. That's a responsive dev and he seems to be busy.
 

MEJHarrison

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,424
1,394
Well, you can click on the link and be taken to the app's details where you could see the app icon and other app information.
We have that blocked at work. That's where I was viewing. I realize I could browse on my phone, iPad, laptop or desktop at home and not have that issue. But that's not the situation here.

Can you copy the link and email it to yourself? If so, you can simply open the email on your phone and problem solved. Or copy the link, add it to Pocket or reading list for when you are on your phone.
Yes, I could do that. And that would benefit me. But I was hoping for a solution that benefits everyone, not just myself.

It's all a moot point anyway as the latest review added the icon. Thanks for that!
 
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