A case study of Safari Content Blocking on iOS

Posted on by Elliot Jackson

There’s been a lot of talk about Safari Content Blocking since WWDC. I’ll admit that in Safari on my mac, I run an ad blocker. Whilst I wish I didn’t have to, it’s become a necessity. Ads on the web have gotten so bad it’s either an ad blocker or my sanity. I chose the former.

I do make a point of whitelisting the various blogs I read that are written by indies I want to support but unfortunately, for most people I dare say an ad blocker is just a case of set-it-and-forget-it (mainly because they’re not aware such an option even exists).

With the possibility to do this now coming to iOS for the first time, Dean Murphy took a look at what an implementation of it might look like from a users perspective. The case study for this article is iMore.com:

With no content blocked, there are 38 3rd party scripts (scripts not hosted on the host domain) running when the homepage is opened, which takes a total of 11 seconds. Some of these scripts are hosted by companies I know, Google, Amazon, Twitter and lots from companies I don't know. Most of which I assume are used to display adverts or track my activity, as the network activity was still active after a minute of leaving the page dormant. I decided to turn them all off all 3rd party scripts and see what would happen.

After turning off all 3rd party scripts, the homepage took 2 seconds to load, down from 11 seconds. Also, the network activity stopped as soon as the page loaded so it should be less strain on the battery.

Say what you will about the downsides of ad blockers but 9 seconds is hard to argue with.

Posted in Apple