Apple Refusing Approval for VPN-Based Apps That Block Ads in Other Apps

Posted in Apple News, Apps, iOS on 17/07/2017 by Chris Hauk


Apple is reportedly cracking down on VPN-based apps that block ads in other third-party apps. iOS developer Tomasz Koperski says his AdBlock for iOS app was recently rejected by the App Store review team.

Apple Refusing Approval for VPN-Based Apps That Block Ads in Other Apps


Koperski is the CTO of Future Mind, a software company that produces AdBlock, Weblock, and Admosphere, three ad blocking apps. When submitting an update for AdBlock for iOS, a VPN-based ad blocking app, it was rejected.

When Koperski appealed the rejection, he reports he was told Apple is no longer approving VPN/root certificate-based ad blockers for inclusion in the App Store. He was told the AdBlock app violated section 4.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, specifically section 4.2.1 which says:

“Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and should indicate that integration in their app description,” and to get even more specific, Future Mind was told the update was rejected because “Your app uses a VPN profile or root certificate to block ads or other content in a third-party app, which is not allowed on the App Store.” 

When reached for comment by 9to5Mac, Apple offered the following statement:

Apple said “This is not a new guideline. We have never allowed apps on the App Store that are designed to interfere with the performance or capabilities of other apps.” It also said it would remove other apps that offer features that block advertising in third-party apps if they “may have snuck on to the App Store.”  Apple added, “We have always supported advertising as one of the many ways that developers can make money with apps.”

Koperski says he was told that Safari content blockers will be the only ad blockers allowed going forward, and will be limited to use in the Safari web browser. The developer claims this is a major shift in Apple policy, as AdBlock, the app that was rejected, has been available since 2014.

It’s possible that any change in policy is part of the major overhaul of the App Store which Apple has recently put into place, eliminating clone apps, outdated apps, and other changes.


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.