Archive for January 16, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple Eliminating Its App and Radio Ads


The iAd App Network will be discontinued as of June 30, 2016. Although we are no longer accepting new apps into the network, advertising campaigns may continue to run and you can still earn advertising revenue until June 30.

John Gruber:

When iAd launched, its biggest advocate among Apple’s leadership was Scott Forstall. In some ways I’m surprised it took this long for them to pull the plug. After Forstall, I don’t think anyone’s heart was in this.

Rosyna Keller:

iAd was always doomed to fail. Apple was unwilling to give advertisers the personal information they “needed”.

Manton Reece:

I was confused at first by Apple’s iAd announcement to developers. I read it as iAd completely shutting down, but apparently it’s just the “app network”.


It seemed at odds with Apple’s focus as a product company, not to mention hypocritical for a company with ad-blocking APIs. Apple and third-party developers should be united in encouraging users to pay for apps; iAd is a distraction from that.

Kirk McElhearn:

Apple has contacted users to inform them that the free, ad-supported version of iTunes Radio will be eliminated at the end of the month.

Juli Clover:

Apple has quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music, but with the end of its current iAd platform on the horizon, the feature will be limited to those who pay for Apple Music going forward.


Also, one of the main reasons I subscribed to iTunes Match was so I could listen to iTunes Radio ad-free. I don’t consider that a “perk,” but rather an integral part of the Match service.


So just like that, they are removing a feature that iTunes Match subscribers paid for? Nice going, Apple. The chances of me joining Apple Music just went from slim to zero, and perhaps I’ll cancel iTunes Match too.

Apple’s advertising page currently mentions ads in News, “offers” in Wallet, ads in apps, and ads in Apple Music. So, as far as regular ads, it sounds like this leaves only News.

Update (2016-01-20): At first I thought that “iAd App Network” meant Apple’s ads that are displayed in apps. Now I think it only refers to adds for apps. In other words, app developers will still be able to earn revenue from displaying iAds for various other products in their apps. They just won’t earn revenue from advertising other apps, and Apple won’t run ads promoting their app.

Benjamin Mayo:

The announcement is confusingly worded, but it does not mean that all of iAd is being discontinued. Developers will still be able to show iAd banners in their application; it’s just that the inventory for App Store apps to advertise will no longer exist. This is a blessing and a curse — it won’t help iAd improve its fill-rates but the CPM on these type of ads was significantly lower as the buy-in from the publisher side was also lower.

Roy Marmelstein:

Apple is only talking about the iAd App Network. These are the iAds you see advertising apps on the app store.

Nick Lockwood:

If so, that post is a masterclass in sowing fear and doubt about your own product, and frightening your business partners unnecessarily.

Update (2016-01-22): David Smith makes almost half of his living from iAd but doesn’t understand which parts of it Apple is shutting down.

Update (2016-03-07): Benjamin Mayo (via Becky Hansmeyer):

We have followed up with Apple numerous times since this original post for more clarification and have finally received a firm answer to explain the situation. The whole of the iAd network is going away — developers will not be able to include any ad banners in their apps after June 30. Developers will have to find a new ad company to continue monetizing their apps using ads, as iAd will no longer function.

The Past, Present, and Future of Sketch

Pieter Omvlee (via Hacker News):

We set out to build it for websites and icons, then it became popular for design applications when those became more popular.


It started out with just my friend and me, and right now it’s 13 people. A few people fill multiple roles, but I would say 6 developers, a few designers, support, QA and someone who deals with the plugin and scripting community.


The fact that I’m not in the Valley also means that I don’t have to pay your very high rents and other premium costs of living. Another advantage I see is the fact that we’re completely remote. It means we don’t necessarily have to compete with those who need to live physically there. We can hire people who are perfectly happy living on an island off the coast of Scotland and just hire them because they are good and wouldn’t require—or even want to—move to San Francisco, or Amsterdam, or wherever.


There is always risk from competitors. Adobe announced Comet a few months ago. This definitely poses a serious threat. The risk with a company like Adobe is that it doesn’t have to be an instant success for them. They can lose money on it for years while they improve it — and they clearly have enough talented people in their company to do so, so I do feel some pressure from that announcement.


I absolutely agree that a one-time fee for an application is not sustainable. I also know that we don’t want to switch to a subscription model.

Updated Gatekeeper Exploit

Dan Goodin (Slashdot):

Patrick Wardle said the security fix consisted of blacklisting a small number of known files he privately reported to Apple that could be repackaged to install malicious software on Macs, even when Gatekeeper is set to its most restrictive setting. Wardle was able to revive his attack with little effort by finding a new Apple trusted file that hadn’t been blocked by the Apple update. In other words, it was precisely the same attack as before, except it used a new, previously unblocked Apple-trusted file.


“It literally took me five minutes to fully bypass it,” Wardle, who is director of research of security firm Synack, told Ars, referring to the updated Gatekeeper. “So yes, it means that the immediate issue is mitigated and cannot be abused anymore. However the core issue is not fixed so if anybody finds another app that can be abused we are back to square one (full gatekeeper bypass).”

Previously: Gatekeeper Exploit.