Apple developer says iOS is adware — and he's right

(Image credit: Steve Streza/Apple)

iOS is packed with ads asking users to join Apple’s own services and buy its products, and they're only getting worse. That’s according to iOS developer Steve Streza — and he has the receipts to prove it.

Streza has collected all of the instances in which iOS tried to sell him something and, well, it's a bit overwhelming to see all together. Here’s a gallery just with the times that the software advertised Apple Music to him.

You get an add in five places through the application — plus the reminders that asks you to subscribe, which appear as notifications.

It’s extremely annoying and it‘s more or less the same for every other Apple service out there.

A giant business for Apple

Apple is depending more and more on its services for growth. The company knows that people only buy a computer or phone every few years. So, if Apple wants to keep a steady revenue stream going, it needs to get every iPhone, iPad, and Mac user to join its services. It could be iCloud storage, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Arcade, or News Plus. It could also be AppleCare. And it could be its fancy Apple Card.

And Apple is getting there, with 480 million subscribers that, as Streza correctly points out, have paid $12.7 billion in Q1 2020 alone. That’s almost one sixth of its latest quarter revenue.

Cook wants 600 million subscribers by year end, so of course it makes sense for Apple to bomb the hell out of its users with reminders about getting a card, subscribing to Apple Arcade or upgrading your iCloud capacity.

Yes, your iPhone is adware-driven

The problem, Streza argues, is that when you put together all the times that Apple does this through the life or your device — like when you open the Music app to get reminded to try Apple Music for free for six months — you end up looking at an ad-bloated platform. It’s all ads for the same company — but it’s ads nonethless. On a device you probably paid an insane amount of money for.

Of course, the Apple fans that buy every product and subscribe to everything Apple does won’t experience this. It’s only the rest of us, who don't pay for every Apple service, who have to live with these ads. And Streza is right, it is really annoying. 

Just let us opt out of everything that could be considered a commercial call.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.