Apple Accepts Ad-Blockers, Google Fights Back… [Tech News Digest]
Blocking ads is bad for business, Netflix rejects offline viewing options, watch Disney Movies Anywhere, Steve Jobs garners great reviews, and Star Wars vs. Star Trek… again!
Ad-Blockers Are Evil, Obviously
A new round of skirmishes in the war between ad-blockers and advertisers is beginning. On the one side we have Apple, turning to the Dark Side and allowing ad-blockers on iOS for the first time. On the other side we have Google, which is punishing AdBlock users for blocking ads on YouTube.
First up is Apple, which is set to welcome ad-blocking extensions on the iOS version of Safari for the first time in its history. According to BBC News, iOS 9 will support ad-blocking extensions on iPhone and iPad. This means iOS users could all start blocking ads very soon.
This could be fatal for smaller websites, and extremely damaging for any sites that rely on advertising to pay the bills, such as your very own MakeUseOf. Not that Apple cares, as it’s also set to launch Apple News, which allows the company to get involved with delivering stories to users, and taking a cut of the profits. Call me cynical, but this is a win-win for Apple.
However, ad-blockers aren’t getting it all their own way, as Google is now actively fighting back. As first reported by Neowin, some AdBlock Plus users have reported seeing ads on YouTube while using Chrome. And the twist is that anyone with AdBlock installed isn’t being given the option to skip the ads, forcing them to sit through the whole thing instead. And about time too.
Make no mistake about it, the war between ad-blockers and advertisers is ramping up. The reason being there is too much at stake for either side to back down. If you want to be on the right side of history please uninstall any ad-blockers you have running, or at least whitelist your favorite websites . Otherwise the Web will be a much barer, more shallow place in the future.
Netflix Rejects Offline Viewing
Amazon recently rolled out an update to its Prime Instant Video apps which allow users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing . Amazon is the first streaming media company to offer this option, but will Netflix now follow suit and offer users the chance to watch content offline?
In a word, No. At least according to Neil Hunt, Netflix’ Chief Product Officer. He told Gizmodo, “I still don’t think it’s a very compelling proposition. I think it’s something that lots of people ask for. We’ll see if it’s something lots of people will use.”
He continued, “I think a much more interesting proposition is, can we make streaming work better in more places that people want to stream?” He finished with a flourish, suggesting, “I think Amazon is playing a good game of PR, but I’m not sure it’s a good consumer experience. We’ll see”.
Watch Your Disney Movies Anywhere
You can now watch Disney movies purchased on one platform on other platforms, thanks to Disney Movies Anywhere. Disney launched Disney Movies Anywhere in 2013, but the “Anywhere” was a misnomer thanks to the app only being compatible with Apple iTunes. Google Play and VUDU have since joined the ranks .
However, Amazon and Microsoft are now on board too, with new Disney apps for the Xbox 360 and Amazon Fire TV. And, even better, Roku and Android TV are coming on board on Sept. 15th too. For those still on the fence about Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney is (for a limited time only) offering a free digital copy of Monsters, Inc. to anyone connecting their account
Steve Jobs Gets Great Reviews
The new Steve Jobs biopic, titled simply Steve Jobs, is garnering great reviews ahead of its release on October 9th. While there have been several films about Steve Jobs made already, and even more books about Steve Jobs released since his death, this appears to be THE definitive story of the co-founder of Apple.
9to5Mac have a rundown of the early reviews, with The Guardian, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter all giving their verdicts on Steve Jobs. Even Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ fellow co-founder (and the brains behind the operation), seems to like this film. According to Deadline, after seeing a rough cut of the movie he thanked Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for “getting it so right”.
Star Wars vs. Star Trek… Solved
And finally, while Star Wars and Star Trek are undeniably the two greatest science fiction franchises the world has ever seen, there is no clear winner between the two. Star Wars is more popular, but Star Trek has the pedigree. Star Wars is more mainstream, but Star Trek is infinitely more geeky.
WatchMojo recently released a video pitching these two sci-fi giants against one another, comparing the starships, the universes, the overarching themes, the special effects, and the various heroes and villains. Did WatchMojo pick the same winner as we did when we compared which is more technologically advanced: Star Wars or Star Trek? [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Whose side are you on in the upcoming war between advertisers and ad-blockers? Is Netflix doing its users a disservice by not offering offline viewing? Will you be enabling Disney Movies Anywhere? Are you planning on seeing the Steve Jobs biopic? Star Wars or Star Trek: which is your personal favorite?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.