Google Teaches App Developers How To Disable Apple’s Ad-Blocking Security Feature

Google Teaches App Developers How To Disable Apple’s Ad-Blocking Security Feature
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With the impending rollout of iOS 9, Apple will be implementing its App Transport Security (ATS) feature which brings in new standards for apps to ensure they are safe to run on iPhones. Problem is that it takes time for developers to comply with the ATS standards. As such, ATS will block in-apps ads for those that don’t meet the new standards, which will impact revenue for developers. Google has now come out with a short-term fix for this.

ATS essentially does not allow apps to connect through HTTP and wants them to go through HTTPS instead, which is the more secure option. Google does recommend that apps should either be developed on or transition to HTTPS, but apparently a lot of developers have asked the company for advice on how to unblock their ads on iOS 9. Developers just need some breathing room during the transition process for existing apps and don’t want to lose out on ad revenue.

So here’s Googles answer. App publishers can add an exception to their Info.plist to allow any insecure connections through the app, effectively bypassing ATS. Here’s the code for the exception:



This will allow apps to connect through HTTP on iOS 9. As mentioned, HTTPS is the more secure option and Google recommends that “developers should only consider disabling ATS if other approaches to comply with ATS standards are unsuccessful”.

iOS 9 is still in public beta and will be rollout widely in the coming weeks.

[Via Google Ads Developer Blog]


  • No. It’s an Apple developer feature to allow backwards compatibility while apps are migrated from http to https. Apple’s official advice is to use these methods to ensure existing apps aren’t broken by ATS.

    However, a new app submission would be rejected if it used this to bypass ATS. Their advice is that all new apps should exclusively use https connections.

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