Content Blockers aren’t only for adblocking: other amazing use cases on iOS 9

My free content blocker for iOS 9 called Refine is currently available on the App Store. It comes with standard adblocking, privacy blocking, and whitelisting, but the true power of Refine, and what distinguishes from other content blockers out there, is the ability to fully customize your own blockers and share them with the public.

Over the last three days since Refine was launched, 100s of custom blockers have been shared, with amazing use cases different from standard adblocking.

Here are 5 that stand out to me, and show why Refine is the only content blocker you’ll ever need.

With Refine, simply search for one of the public blockers listed below and add it to your personal blocker list with a click of a button.

1. shutup.css (Hide Comments)

This is a port of Steven Frank’s amazing CSS stylesheet that hides comments on popular websites. Some content blocking apps have been released that are basically just a shutup.css port, but in Refine, it is one (really cool) blocker in a larger ecosystem.

Simulator Screen Shot Sep 24, 2015, 4.55.49 PM

2. html and css only

This simple blocker blocks all resources other than html and css from loading. When trying to read articles/content, these are the only resources that are necessary for a good reading experience. There has been a lot of talk about adblockers making websites load a lot faster, but html and css only mode blows standard adblocking out of the water, making the internet scary fast.

Simulator Screen Shot Sep 24, 2015, 4.55.45 PM

3. no popups

Currently the most popular public content blocker on Refine, and with good reason. “no popups” blocks all resources with a “popup” type, defined by Safari.

Simulator Screen Shot Sep 24, 2015, 5.00.31 PM

4. Block SNS Widgets

Not  considered advertisements by standard adblocking filters, “Block SNS Widgets” hides and blocks social media sharing widgets on websites that can distract from a clean browsing experience.

 

Simulator Screen Shot Sep 24, 2015, 5.00.37 PM

 

5. Clickbait Tech sites

As the author of the blocker passionately describes, “Clickbait Tech sites” blocks sites with “bs articles” he doesn’t want to read. This is a great example of how powerful content blockers can be, allowing you to filter out content beyond advertisements you’re not interested in.

Simulator Screen Shot Sep 24, 2015, 4.55.20 PM

Conclusion

As you can see, there have been some amazing and inventive content blockers users have created through Refine. A main part of my vision for Refine, in addition to great default blockers, is a platform that allows full user control over content blockers, and easy sharing and discovery of those blockers throughout the community. To that end, I’m working hard to make discovery of these public blockers better in future updates.

Refine is free and will remain free. Download it now, and tweet me @RefineApp if you’ve made any cool content blockers you’d like to showcase.

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