Saturday, December 12, 2015

Apple Pushes iPhone 6s Pop-up Ads to App Store

Roger Fingas (comments):

Apple is beginning to push fullscreen pop-up ads for the iPhone 6s to people opening the App Store app on some older iPhone models, according to a rush of user complaints.


Apple has previously marketed new devices through things like App Store banners and collections, but this is the first time Apple has temporarily prevented people from using an app simply for the sake of marketing — at least when excluding the Apple Music sign-up screen seen after launching the iOS Music app for the first time.


Seems like this should have only been targeted at iPhone 5 or older, given that customers can currently purchase the 5s as the entry-level iPhone model. That’s kinda like buying a low-end/entry level model from a car manufacturer, open up the on-screen owner’s manual, and it has a pop-up recommending you by the high-end/premium model.


The new Music app was the first of it. If you have a force-press phone, it contains an advertisement for the Apple Music service that cannot be removed and sits there day after day asking you to join up. Every time you upgrade and re-start music for the first time, it shoots an advert at you on top of the one on the force-press menu.

Hell since iOS 8, most of the time when you open a store in an Apple OS, even if you are clicking on a link from an upgrade notification, it takes you to the promotional screen first, then you have to purposely switch back to the upgrades tab. It’s getting a bit ridiculous if you ask me.


It is already the trend. iTunes has alway been bent to try to sell things while I’m trying to use my computer on a daily bases. And on iOS I think it was about a year ago that App Store started defaulting back to the Featured screen, instead of staying on the Updates where I left it. They thought I wouldn’t notice that I see ads now when I update my apps. I did notice, and it bothers me every time.

Previously: Push Notifications to Send Promotions.

Update (2015-12-12): Nick Heer:

Interstitial advertising is obnoxious, and Apple is already too keen on self-promotion in iOS for my liking — you can’t hide the Watch app if you don’t own an Apple Watch, for example.

Update (2015-12-14): Nick Mediati:

Although it’d be easy to dismiss the ad as a hoax—after all, it seems so...un-Apple—other iOS users have confirmed the existence of the popup, both on Twitter and in 9to5Mac’s comments section.

A Macworld commenter says that the pop-up even appeared on an iPhone 6.

John Gruber:

Very strange decision on Apple’s part to do this. It’s uncouth.

Update (2015-12-16): Thom Holwerda:

I got the ad as well, but on my iPhone 6S, which makes even less sense. This is just sleazy and scummy.

Update (2018-03-09): scott:

Apple News spamming my device. This is a full screen pop-up ad in Apple News that forces me to interact with it before I can get to the app.

The only options are ‘sign me up’ or ‘not now’, meaning Apple is going to continue spamming me.

Update (2018-04-14): Joe Baumgartner:

Looks like Apple is advertising via notifications similar to third parties.

Update (2018-06-25): Damien Petrilli:

This is the obnoxious part of Apple I can’t stand. I don’t want to use your service Apple, stop showing it to me everywhere.

Update (2019-02-18): Renaud Lienhart:

This the experience of launching nowadays: a full-screen, non-dismissible loading modal, followed by a broken marketing upsell.

Appalling 😒

18 Comments RSS · Twitter

Christian Beck

At least you can click past it. On the road, the my wife's phone refused to show some clickable element above the Apple Music promotion. Just the image, nothing to click, nothing to get past it. Force closed the app, still nothing. A few days later it worked again.

Just having a thing that plays music, and only plays music, that would be nice. If only someone could manufacture something of that sort, that is beautiful to look at and still functional...

Mayson Lancaster

I wish the Mac App Store would show me an ad – or anything. Just get teh little spinner… 5 days!

Look at the screen again. There is no Apple Music ad that blocks everything, you just need to select from the menu at the bottom. You are only seeing the ad because you are in the 'for you' (curated) section.

Apple has also been pushing pop-ups to users still on older versions of OS X, exhorting them to upgrade to El Capitan. I assume it's being pushed-out via the Mac App Store.

@Christian Beck: There are a lot of apps that allow you to access your Music Library, with 'alternative' navigation schemes, to fit different tastes and situations; see, for example, "Listen: The Gesture Music Player", which makes it easier to listen to your library while driving by using larger type and enabling gestures to navigate instead of trying to hit small and vaguely-delimited buttons. Try also "CanOpener", "in:play", or "CarPlay".

The only reason why Apple is able to keep touting record rates of adoption for its new OS versions is that Apple has been making it so difficult to revert to previous versions. Heck, I might still be on iOS 6, if it were up to me. I've been an early adopter of Apple tech for more than 25 years, but over the last five years, all that has gotten me is less reliable, less intuitive software and more marketing BS pushed in my face.

"Very strange decision on Apple’s part to do this. It’s uncouth."

Uncouth? Indeed. But doesn't seem out of character these days.

Christian Beck

@Jesse Garza: Thanks for your suggestions, but hitting specific buttons wasn't the problem - my wife had the phone, I was driving.

@Brian: Sure thing, just point out where exactly I have to click ;-)

Never encountered that on my 3GS and iOS 6. Seems like people like me a totally forgotten by Apple.

Yup, this annoyed me the other day on my iPhone 5S: Thank you, Apple, I *know* the iPhone 6 range exists; I went into a store and tried them, and then decided to upgrade my 5 to a 5S. Getting in my way when I'm trying to update my apps is not going to change my mind.


Stop complaining. This is not the Steve Jobs high-standards, high-quality Apple anymore. This is Apple+IBM as the new Microsoft, and they only have to be a little bit better than Microsoft to essentially print money.

The Apple products are now made by designers who only want to impress other designers and by engineers who are working only to impress other engineers. Standard tech industry BS and something that Steve Jobs was somehow able to avoid under his leadership. That is why the UI *looks* designery but has terrible user functionality — it is just there to demo the hardware for other hardware designers and professors now. That is why we simultaneously got 64-bit and a new programming language to please engineers while at the same time users lost all stability. An automatic software update just killed my 3rd gen Apple TV and it took 3 hours to factory reset it and login all my cable channels and favorite all my radio stations. Can you imagine the firings if that had happened to Steve Jobs? That is why it never would have happened.

I sympathize with you all because I am a long-time Apple user who experienced the comeback as a golden age of computing where every new major hardware or software upgrade or new form factor significantly improved my work and play. But these BS marketing efforts from Apple are the least of my disappointments. The software is unstable and hard to use. They made playing music or Podcasts into a kind of obstacle course that is less than zero fun. There are many views now on my iPad mini that are essentially empty except for 8 controls jammed into a space so tiny I can't use them. My 2015 iPad sucks compared to my 2010 iPad. Yosemite is the worst Mac OS since 10.0. And the kicker for me was replacing my Beats Studio headphones with new made-by-Apple Beats Studio 2 and they are literally 1% as good as the originals. Nice to look at, but totally unusable.

In 1997, Steve Jobs said he came back to Apple because he didn't want to run Windows for the rest of his life. That goal was achieved, but nothing further. Now after his untimely and early passing, we all have to run Windows or something exactly like it. It is a sad thing. But I think we only make it sadder when we don't accept that fact and we complain as though the tech industry is not filled with people who have no culture except the tech industry. So playing music is now a technical challenge, all the art has been stripped out of your devices, and your device maker or ISP or any other tech company can pop an ad up anywhere, anytime, as though what you as the user are doing is unimportant, because it actually is unimportant to them. They don't look at tech as a support layer under music, art, movies, writing, management, medicine, retail, manufacturing, etc. like Steve Jobs did. Today's tech people see themselves as demi-gods handing down law to the rabble. If they want to wipe out all of your computing skills overnight with a software update, then you are supposed to thank them. Never mind if that costs you a client or a promotion or $1000 or 10 hours a week of re-learning.

I think if you accept your new and tiny and subservient role to whatever privileged little *%#~$ Apple hired right out of college to screw up your life with every software update, you will actually be much happier. The thing that really hurts is when you expect things to be like they were, with the user and usability as the focus, because that age is dead and gone. You can't push that rock up the hill for long. It is better to stop complaining and just use as few devices and apps as you can, for as little money as you can, with as little investment of time and learning as you can, because everything in tech is disposable now including you.

I got one of these on my iPhone 5c, which was released with the 5s but is essentially the guts of an iPhone 5. At least now I know why they did it.

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