A new app for iPhone users can help you surf the web without having to worry about pop-up panels that beg you to use the company’s app instead. An app called banishis a Safari extension that helps remove “open in app” banners from various websites and other pop-ups that block content on a number of sites such as Reddit, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Medium, Yelp and some sites Google. name a few.
While there are a number of similar Safari extensions to block banners and cookie ads, the scourge of “Open in App” banners is often not addressed by existing solutions. Unfortunately, the use of mobile Internet today requires so many interventions, but that’s the way things are. Perhaps this is also one of the factors that explain why people they now spend four to five hours a day on their apps.
Developer Alex Zamoshchin says he, too, was frustrated by the issue, as he thought people shouldn’t be using the company’s app if they don’t want to. Taking inspiration from similar cookie blocking extension, Quiethe created Banish.
To use Banish, first install the app on your iPhone and then set it up in the settings. This includes several key steps for Banish to work properly. There are two places where Banish should be enabled under “Safari Extensions” – you need to turn on the switch next to Banish under “Allow these content blockers” and “Allow these extensions”. Then you need to install “Allow” permission for “All Websites” below.
Once enabled, Banish can help you avoid pop-ups in many cases. But the app can’t eliminate all “open in app” distractions.
For example, we found that clicking on Reddit links sometimes opens in Safari and sometimes opens the native app when we tested it. The developer explained that the Reddit app does not consistently use deep links (links that open directly within the apps) for all of its pages. So while some pages will deep link properly, others – like Reddit topic pages – won’t. We also had to set links open in Safari by default. The solution was to press and hold on the Reddit.com link you want to view and then tap on the option in the menu that appears to open the link in Safari. This will change the default action for Reddit links in the future, says Zamoschin.
Another problem that Banish can’t solve has to do with those “Open” links that are built into Safari. like those that appear for example, at the top of the page when visiting Instagram.com. This is a different type of banner than the ones this app was made for. (If you don’t want to see them, you can remove the app from your iPhone.)
There were other oddities as well. LinkedIn, for example, still showed the Safari login window instead of going straight to the person’s LinkedIn profile if you were logged out while visiting the site. But that’s how LinkedIn works. And while browsing Twitter is much easier, its website still has login/registration buttons at the top of the screen and the same built-in “Open” button that Instagram.com offers at the top of the page. But, again, these are questions that are outside the scope of Banish.
However, in other respects the app has proven to be incredibly useful. For example, on Quora, clicking on a link to another Quora page will usually bring up a blocker that requires you to be logged in to continue navigating the website. With Banish, this popup disappeared and you could use the site normally.
Application available for download on the App Store for a one-time fee of $1.99. It is currently the #2 most paid app in the Utilities section of the App Store.
Credit: techcrunch.com /