Apple is working on a way to show ads in its apps on iPhones. The news comes via a report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg (paid article).
Apple is not the first company to try this, many Android OEMs display ads on their phones, most notably Xiaomi with its MIUI. Xiaomi is an Internet company first and an OEM later. The low prices of its phones attract many buyers, creating a large user base to which it can advertise. Samsung threw its hat into the ring by showing ads in its Weather app, even on its premium flagship devices. But the idea backfired after users attacked the company, which in turn forced the electronics giant to reverse its decision.
Image courtesy: Bloomberg.
But with Android, you can usually get rid of the bloatware and ads by clicking a custom ROM. This requires some technical expertise and a computer. With iOS, you don’t have such flexible options.
Apple currently displays ads in certain areas of iOS and macOS. There are three types of ads in their ecosystem. The ads you may see in the Apple News and Stocks apps are similar to the ads you see on websites—third-party ads.
The App Store has its own ad system, which allows developers to promote their apps. Apple recently updated the App Store with controversial changes that promote subscription-based apps, a new policy allows developers to extend subscriptions and even increase the price without notifying users. Soon, the Today tab will start showing ads, and so will app tabs.
The Cupertino company has also been promoting sports content on the Apple TV+ app, specifically Friday Night Baseball. This is somewhat understandable since it is a service offered within the app. There’s one more way Apple advertises its own products, the iOS Settings app can promote Apple Music, iCloud, etc. You can usually dismiss these suggestions, but they keep coming back.
In my opinion, first party ads are fine as the data will not be sold to other companies. Third-party ads, however, are a big no-no. Not only are they a privacy risk, but these ads will make the devices look cheap.
Apple has been pretty impressive in protecting user privacy. Most of its telemetry options are opt-in, meaning the setting is not enabled by default, which is the right way to handle user data. It also has an app tracking transparency system, like permission controls, to prevent apps from tracking you through websites and other apps. You can opt out of personalized ads from the Settings > Privacy & Security section. This won’t provide complete protection from trackers, but it does provide an extra layer to protect your privacy.
Of course, one could argue that using an ad blocker or DNS could solve the problem. But, these aren’t ideal solutions, they’re workarounds, and it’s not something you expect with immediate experience. Also, not everyone is tech savvy enough to do these things.
Gurman is a reliable source of Apple-related news, so the announcements coming to iOS could be true. Ads and privacy don’t mix well, it remains to be seen how users will react to the change. The company sees ads as a great discovery tool for app developers.
According to Gurman, the company may expand ads to Apple Maps, Apple Podcasts and Apple Books. As for ads in the Maps app, you’re expected to run ads for featured places (that pay to be ranked at the top) like Yelp. Similarly, publishers and authors could buy advertising space to promote their books and podcasts. He also speculates that Apple TV+ could have a level of ad support, not unlike Disney+ with ads, to offer older shows and help promote pay tiers.
How about watching ads on a $1,000 iPhone or Mac? Is this something you find acceptable?
Name of the item
Apple might start showing ads on your iPhone
A reliable insider claims that Apple might start showing ads on your iPhone.
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