When Safari content blockers were introduced last year in iOS 9, it would've been an easy mistake to presume that it was an iOS-only feature. A flurry of content blocker apps hit the iOS App Store (some for only a couple days). It was hard to distinguish which ones might be better than the rest. Even to veteran ad-blocking users, they all had new names and minimal settings — some of them lacked whitelisting capabilities altogether. Which were going to be efficient and effective?
Thankfully, Ben Brooks did some amazing legwork and determined 1Blocker to be his content blocker of choice. It was fast and had smart design, so it quickly became my favorite on iOS as well. But on the Mac, I was still using Chrome as my primary browser and the epically DOM-crunching AdBlock Plus to keep pages clean. Both 1Blocker and ABP could be overzealous, but both have excellent whitelisting capabilities, which I use for sites I love and sites they break.
When I got my iMac last fall, I decided to give Safari for Mac another go. I appreciated Safari's speed and simplicity, but the web had to be usable in it, not a bombardment of malware-serving ads. I searched for content blocker extensions and nearly found a dead end. Apple's extension gallery lumped together content blockers and other ad-blocking extensions. Other lists were short and not at all comprehensive. I settled on Adamant, which had zero settings. It let me give Safari a try, but no more: no whitelisting, poor performance on YouTube, and occasional mangling of pages.
So imagine my delight when 1Blocker for Mac was announced. I was expecting just to enrich the features of my content blocker, but I got so much more. First, my settings — including whitelisted sites — automagically synced from my phone via iCloud. Second, 1Blocker is fast. Like, so fast I had to check that pages weren't being prefetched. Most ad blockers are a wash or slightly slower on load time, as they pick out all the nasty bits of the page and decide not to load them. The Safari content blocker framework promised to do that better, and 1Blocker for Mac is the first that has delivered. And finally, 1Blocker has a developer with a sense of humor (check out the "Block Anti-Adblock" icon in settings) and a viable business model. I don't have to worry about my ad blocker selling out to advertisers anymore. Thanks to 1Blocker, Safari is finally the best browser for me on the Mac, and I expect it will be for years to come.