MacKuba

Kuba Suder's blog on Mac & iOS development

LiteBlock Beta

This is a temporary landing page for a project I'm currently working on - an ad & tracker blocking extension for Safari. The app is in a very early stage - I've mostly worked on the blocklist so far, and there's very little UI yet. LiteBlock is probably not the final name, and it's certainly not the final icon. But the blocking kinda works already. Still, adjust your expectations accordingly 😅

⬇ LiteBlock 0.1.1 (2020.05.23)

(Requires macOS 10.14.4+)

The idea

The general approach I'm aiming for is minimalism and the 80/20 rule. Ideally only URL blocking, mostly by full domains, instead of blocking every image and div that includes the word "ad" in any language. First-party ads (e.g. on Facebook or YouTube) should mostly be left alone.

Blocking analytics and other trackers that don't show anything is as important as blocking ads - this is more about not being spied on and not slowing down the web with megabytes of JavaScript, than it is about never seeing an ad anywhere. This includes almost anything pulled from a third party that doesn't seem essential - A/B tests, push notification and newsletter services, support chat services etc. The web has gone mad with every site pulling in several external SDKs from other servers on every page load, and I want them to stop doing that - at least on my computer.

Features

Enable the blocker extension in Safari, that's it. Enable the toolbar button if you want to see blocked resources or report sites with ads/trackers (please do!). Reporting works currently via email only, this will change. No blocklist updating yet, you need to update the whole app via Sparkle (same). The popup will tell you if there's a newer version available.

There *will* be options to whitelist a site and to manually select blocked services, and possibly to whitelist a specific tracker on a specific site. Though not necessarily all in 1.0.

For any feedback, contact me on Twitter @kuba_suder or via email.