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Prominent Developer Believes Apple’s iOS is Actually Adware

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Steve Streza, a prominent software developer from Seattle, WA, has called out Apple’s iOS an ‘Adware’ in a lengthy article on his website titled The Paywalled Garden: iOS is Adware. “iOS 13 has an abundance of ads from Apple marketing Apple services, from the moment you set it up and all throughout the experience,” he writes.

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Streza points out that the iOS situation is much worse than Microsoft Windows where at least some of the ads can be termed as tips or suggestions. In iOS, Apple is simply trying to get users to spend more money and it is doing it everywhere in the system in the form of ‘unremovable advertising.’

Of course, Apple has a right to tell users about their services, and try to convince you to subscribe to them. And you might disagree with my assessment that some of these are ads at all. Individually, most of these instances aren’t insidious by themselves. But when you look at them together, they paint a picture of how Apple is making the user experience provably worse to boost growth at all costs.




The ads that Streza calls out include:

  • Apple News+: “If you open a story on one of Apple’s partners like the Wall Street Journal, the screen it takes you often has a large banner ad at the top of the screen for the Apple News+ service. This seems to be intermittent, but it cannot be dismissed, hidden, or disabled.”
  • Apple Card: “If you open the Wallet app, which is on the first home screen by default, you see a giant ad that’s nearly half the screen for Apple Card. And every time you add a credit/debit card to Apple Pay, you are asked if you want to sign up for Apple Card instead.”
  • Apple Arcade: “The main Arcade app tab is just an ad for this service, and it can’t be turned off. Elsewhere in the app, Apple Arcade games get more prominent visual treatment, larger videos, and bigger download buttons than other games.”
  • App Store: “Apple … make money by extorting developers and showing you the wrong thing. If you search for a specific app, you will often not see that app in the first slot, unless the developer has paid for the privilege.”

Check out the entire article at the source page and let us know what you think of Apple’s advertising approach.

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