This is not a typical post since it is not DevOps-related, but I wanted to share my recent experiences with switching to an advertisement-free browser for iOS devices. In my case, that means an older iPad and iPhone 5S.
My primary motivation stems from using Google Chrome on these devices to view Facebook, which has become an advertisement minefield over time. And the Facebook App (along with Messenger) are just evil. But I digress…
On my laptop, I can use Chrome with the FB Purity plugin just fine, but for mobile devices, I don’t have that option. So, I downloaded Adblock Browser from the Apple AppStore a couple of weeks ago to give it a whirl.
- It’s free
- It works (I don’t see ads on Facebook anymore from either my iPhone or iPad)
- It’s slower than Chrome (but is it? see below)
- It sometimes doesn’t render page content correctly without a reload
As to The Bad, it’s slowness has to do with being an integration with Safari, which to me has become not unlike InternetExplorer was to Windows back in the 2000’s timeframe. It’s just kind of a pig and doesn’t render content quickly. And then there are the times where it doesn’t render correctly, especially on my older iPad.
However, I often had plenty of regularly occurring errors with Chrome, especially when trying to request the desktop site and switching views from Timeline to Notifications to Messages, etc. I probably spent 50% or more of my time in Chrome reloading pages or otherwise killing it and restarting it. So with Adblocker Browser being slower, maybe it’s a wash because it does have better overall rendering performance on Facebook. Perhaps this suggests that it’s Facebook’s web content handling mechanics and not the browser(s), but the end result is what counts: I don’t see ads anymore. Huzzah!