AdGuard Pro returns to iOS after years of conflict with Apple’s oppressive practices

Apple seems to be lighting up on its restrictive practices in the face of antitrust scrutiny brewing.

AdGuard Pro for iOS recently received a very small, but very significant upgrade. Just a couple of random bug fixes and an update on localization. It might seem trivial, but for AdGuard it means a whole lot.

Three years ago, the company was trying to release a small run-of-the-mill AdGuard Pro update, but eventually, the app was rejected. According to Apple: “[AdGuard Pro] uses a VPN profile or root certificate to block ads or other content in a third-party app, which is not allowed on the App Store.”

When big corporations make up their minds, it is very hard for them to take a step back and review their decisions. It looked like AdGuard Pro was a closed chapter, and the company decided to stop its development. “We would have had to abandon every network-level feature to make any further changes to it, and it just wasn't worth it,” explains AdGuard.

The company decided to focus its effort on developing the free AdGuard app for iOS. After many months of hard work, AdGuard Pro’s functionalities were partially recovered and implemented the 3.0 version for iOS. Just a week before the app’s release, the company received more news from Apple.

The new AppStore review guidelines published on the 4th of June stated that:

“Certain types of apps — such as those for parental control, content blocking, and security — from approved providers may use the NEVPNManager API.”

As it often happens with the tech giant, everything seems to come out of the blue. Just as the former policy changes crippled, and then effectively killed the Pro version, one day a new policy review suddenly resurrected it from the grave.

AdGuard iOS developers immediately recovered the old Pro code and submitted the same update meant to be released the previous year. After several failed attempts, one “blessed day” AdGuard Pro for iOS was approved.

AdGuard can look at the future with more optimism now. However, just a few days ago the company has been struck by Apple’s banhammer again and then was shortly after restored.

“It was a frightening 30 minutes, let me tell you that! Let's hope it was a simple reviewer's mistake, but you never know,” commented AdGuard.

Filippo Cestaro
Filippo Cestaro is a tech news writer with a strong focus on AI, machine learning, and big data. His interests include AI singularity and transhumanism. He is also a contributor to Scuba Zone Magazine and joined with the University of Milan to publish work on the psychology of scuba diving. [email protected]