Microsoft has previously been accused of using Windows 10 as an adware platform to promote some of its other products and services, and now it looks like it’s Apple’s turn to face similar criticism.
Tumblr engineer Steve Streza says iOS itself is bundled with adware as Apple tries to increase the number of subscribers for various services, including News, the Apple Card, and Apple Music.
In an analysis of how Apple’s apps on iOS pushes adware to users not paying for a subscription, Streza emphasizes it’s impossible to block these ads in the operating system, as the existing iOS content blocker extension system only works for Safari.
“Lots and lots of ads, on devices that you pay for. iOS 13 has an abundance of ads from Apple marketing Apple services, from the moment you set it up and all throughout the experience. Some can be dismissed or hidden, but most cannot, and are purposefully designed into core apps like Music and the App Store. There’s a term to describe software that has lots of unremovable ads: adware, which what iOS has sadly become,” Streza explains.
Apple won’t stop here, he warns
The Tumblr engineer goes on to explain that most people don’t talk about this aggressive tactic to push ads in iOS simply because they subscribed to the services that Apple promotes in the first place.
But things will get worse, he warns, unless Apple users themselves start making themselves heard.
“This issue is not going to get better. Apple is going to expand its services, both breadth and depth, and the adware problem is only going to get worse, unless people call out Apple for what they’re doing,” Streza says.
Just like Apple, Microsoft itself has come under fire for using Windows 10 to promote products like Office and Microsoft Edge. Ads that showed up in the Start menu, and which Microsoft calls tips or suggestions, recommended Windows 10 users to install other products that do not come bundled with the OS, in some cases in an attempt to drive them away from other rival solutions.