Apple has reportedly made some changes to its policy on third party adblocks currently available on the App Store. Key sources indicate the company is targeting third party adblockers by rejecting updates to such applications.
9to5Mac reports that popular apps such as AdBlock and Weblock are no longer allowed to get updated in the App Store on grounds of seemingly revised guidelines that are rejecting VPN-based adblock applications to install certificates on devices.
Apple is banning updates for these types of apps on the basis of Section 4.2 of its App Store guidelines, which states the following:
“Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website. If your app is not particularly useful, unique, or ‘app-like,’ it doesn’t belong on the App Store. If your App doesn’t provide some sort of lasting entertainment value, or is just plain creepy, it may not be accepted.”
Hence, iPhone and iPad users will longer be able to block ads across all applications, apart from activating content blockers in the Safari browser or other-third party browsers. As earlier, users also had the option to block ads in more or less all apps installed on their devices using the installed certificate.
Apple, however, said that it hasn’t updated its guidelines on VPN-based ad blockers on the App Store and never allowed such apps to receive updates. That said, developers of Adblock and Weblock revealed that their apps got updated several times in the past. However, it was only their most recent updates that were banned on the App Store.
“This is not a new guideline. We have never allowed apps on the App Store that are designed to interfere with the performance or capabilities of other apps.” It also said it would remove other apps that offer features that block advertising in third-party apps if they “may have snuck on to the App Store. We have always supported advertising as one of the many ways that developers can make money with apps,” Apple told 9to5Mac in a statement.
Therefore, with the new policy shift in place, only those adblocking apps will be officially allowed on the App Store that uses Safari Content Blocker, as opposed to VPN-based clients that are capable of blocking ads running system-wide.