Adblock Plus has over 50 million active users, though it is often understandably confused with AdBlock, another popular ad-blocking solution with over 40 million active users. Both tools are available across multiple platforms, and total hundreds of millions downloads each.
Adblock Plus for iOS should not be confused with parent company Eyeo’s Adblock Browser, a standalone browser with the same ad-blocking technology built in. Eyeo explains that Adblock Plus for iOS works in the mobile version of Safari, so you can “begin saving data, protecting yourself from malvertising, enhancing your privacy, and saving your battery.”
The launch is made possible thanks to iOS 9’s new content-blocking feature, which requires some setting up. After you download and install the app, you’ll have to follow the instructions on how to activate the content-blocking features of Adblock Plus within your system-wide iOS settings.
In short, you’ll have to choose Safari, tap Content Blockers, and select Adblock Plus. Because Safari is the default browser on iOS devices, when you click on any URL link in an email, text message, or website, Safari will open and Adblock Plus will block “any annoying ads.”
The word “annoying” is the key here. Adblock Plus has an Acceptable Ads initiative wherein it selectively blocks advertising. Nonintrusive ads are allowed through in an attempt to find a compromise between users and advertisers.
With iOS 9’s debut, multiple new ad blockers have sprung up; currently popular solutions include Crystal, Purify Blocker, and Blockr. Yet Adblock Plus has the advantage of a known brand name: iOS aside, the tool is also available on the desktop (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE) and on Android.