Web ads re-directing you to an app on the App Store

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by YanniDepp, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    Obviously, Apple have special web links that, when clicked, open a certain app in the App Store.

    I've noticed this being abused quite a lot online lately, and wondered if anyone else is getting really annoyed with it.

    There are certain banner adverts that appear on websites that detect if you're using an iPhone or iPad. If you are, they launch a Javascript redirect to an app store link.

    You'll just be browsing the web in Safari. Suddenly, Safari will slide off the screen and you'll be looking at a random app in the App Store. It's almost always Candy Crush, Jelly Splash or Clash of the Clans.

    In fact, it's not just websites. I was using an app with banner ads at the bottom of the screen, and suddenly the app closed, and took me to Jelly Splash in the App Store. And no - I didn't click the ad.

    This is incredibly irritating and Apple really need to do something to stop this. It isn't a fantastic user experience if an ad can sneakily use Javascript to launch the app store and interrupt what you're doing.
     
  2. caubeck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #2
    I agree. I wish I could tell Siri to "disable annoying ****" like that.
     
  3. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #3
    It happens on its own without any interaction from you? Can't say I've seen it work like that.
     
  4. YanniDepp thread starter macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #4
    Yep. These things are re-directing entirely on their own.

    Apple lets you create special links that automatically open iTunes or the app store when they're clicked. These ads are using Javascript to open these links, which throw you out of Safari and straight into the App Store on your device.

    If you disable Javascript, the ads stop doing this. But a lot of sites require Javascript these days, so that's not a solution.

    These adverts have appeared on a few websites. The Guardian (a British newspaper) was doing this a few weeks ago. Cheezburger Network (who run Failblog and I Can Has Cheezburger) were also running these ads.

    Apparently, they've appeared on IGN as well, as this forum thread shows.
     
  5. ~Ks383~, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    ~Ks383~ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #5
    Web ads re-directing you to an app on the App Store

    Yeah, those ads are really annoying. I have noticed them occurring more frequently recently. I don't really see the point in them anyway. It seems counterproductive for the ads to behave in this manner. When I get ripped out of what I was doing and am thrown to an app's page in the App Store I sure as hell am not going to purchase/download that crappy app. In fact, it ensures that I will never purchase/download it. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way.
     
  6. dallardice macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #6
    In a way glad to have found this thread. Spotted it for the first time at the weekend and was concerned that I'd picked up something somewhere. Hideous practice.
     
  7. CTHarrryH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #7
    In general I'm finding a lot more ads showing up on my i devices and find it more and more annoying.
     
  8. sammy-boy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Staffordshire, UK
    #8
    I had that on a Twitter client (The free version of Echofon) - it was automatically redirecting to the App Store, usually gambling apps, Candy Crush etc. It was annoying enough for me to uninstall the app and I went and bought a paid client. To be fair Echofon picked up on it when I mentioned it on Twitter - they said they would look into this. Never heard anything further.
     
  9. yanki01 macrumors 68040

    yanki01

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    got this crap too. I don't and won't download your stupid little school girl game!!! I almost said, WTF...I got spam on my iPhone.
     
  10. luckydcxx macrumors 65816

    luckydcxx

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #10
    I am glad that I'm not the only one this is happening to. Back during the 7.0 betas I brought this up in a thread and some members kept saying that it's me clicking on a link. Now I know its java script. It is very annoying.
     
  11. YanniDepp thread starter macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #11
    It's been happening to me on the web for a while, but today is the first time it's happened in an app.

    I was using a free app that had ads in it, and suddenly the app closed and re-directed me to Jelly Splash on the app store. When I re-opened the app, there was an ad for Jelly Splash at the bottom of the screen. And no - I didn't touch the ad by accident.

    Apple really, really have to fix this. If more malicious ads appear, this will be ten times worse than the 'iOS 6 Maps' problem.
     
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #12
    It is unfortunate that developers have to resort to this - it gives good developers a bad reputation and makes people less likely to experiment with free apps. Maybe Apple should allow you to report it? Or put a review on the app and mention that it sends you to the app store without intervention?
     
  13. cwwilson macrumors 65816

    cwwilson

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #13
    I've had this happen to me as well. All I can say is, is that I won't be installing ANY app that redirects me like that. Something shady going on for sure.
     
  14. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #14
    Fix what?

    The web is an open platform. It's not up to Apple to police it.
     
  15. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #15
    No, but if they can make it more difficult for these links to be abused, then they should do that.
     
  16. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    How exactly?

    It's a link to an app!

    A free app can bring in money from in-app purchases and advertising.
    A paid app can bring in money from sales.

    The abuse is so simple that it's difficult to stop - and remember that Apple can make money from these things too, so it's not really in their interest to stop it.
     
  17. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #17
    So it's in their interests to annoy their customers? Apple make most their money from hardware sales so if people get sick of stuff like this and move to another brand, this won't be helping them.
     
  18. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #18
    Apple's desire is to see web usage decline - they want people to use Apps instead.
     
  19. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #19
    While true, this in no way obviates his point. It is not in Apples best interest to have a web experience poorer than the competition.
     
  20. YanniDepp thread starter macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #20
    I don't agree with your reasoning. Yes, the web is an open platform. But we still have pop-up blockers, antivirus packages (well, not us Mac users) and anti-spam systems to keep annoying things away from us.

    Apple have made a system that is easy to abuse, and is very annoying when it is abused. They could do something similar to WebKit desktop notifications. Those can only be 'switched on' if the Javascript is initiated by a user action, such as clicking a button. They can't be automatically requested by Javascript running in the background (e.g. on page load).
     
  21. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #21
    Just like the browsers shouldn't be doing anything about abused pop-up ads and phishing sites and all that, right?
     
  22. CTHarrryH macrumors 65816

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #22
    The police apps - there are many that haven't been allowed or removed from the store if they didn't meet Apple standards. One of the main reasons that these used to be very clean apps. Apple reviews all apps and could stop this if they wanted to.
     
  23. ~Ks383~ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #23

    It is not an app specific issue. It seems to be shady advertisers doing this. It doesn't just happen in App Store apps. It also happens in Safari.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    It is frustrating, I open up safari and all of sudden, it opens up the app store. I hate it.
     
  25. g35 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #25
    It's incredibly easy. They just have to disable links to their app store that automatically leave Safari and open the app store. Another, less intrusive example of this is when you google an app on your computer, and it takes you to a landing page for the app on apple.com. You can click a link that opens the app in iTunes. Same thing is happening to OP, except the links are automatically redirecting to the App store instead of waiting for a link to be pressed.

    I don't know what these are called but whatever it is when clicking a link can open an application - that part is 100% under Apple's control in the Safari browser.
     

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