Apple is the greatest chess player on Earth. They make the best and most calculated moves, offensive and defensive. Sometimes they release a new product or feature and most people are confused, unsatisfied, or disgruntled, failing to see the long term play. Then the following year or so, Apple releases another product or feature and it all makes sense. Their master plan is revealed.
In the context of the default News app that’s shipping with iOS 9, Apple is finally putting the last pieces in place for a circle of products, features, and developer technologies that could put a solid dent in the bottom line of companies built on web based advertising business models.
Apple is building on chess moves they’ve made since the release of the iPhone. The iPhone, like all of Apple, is a walled garden. Apple controls the default web browser, Safari, in addition to the entire user experience. Features like “Limit Ad Tracking” and others have been a part of iOS for a bit, but with iOS 9, Apple is releasing a new feature called Content Blocking that will ship with Safari and that is accessible by developers in the new Safari View Controller.
The big idea behind Content Blocking is that it’s possible to add something to the experience of viewing a webpage by taking something away.
– Classic Apple marketing. Ricky Mondello from Introducing Safari View Controller, Session 504, WWDC 2015.