How Marco Arment accidentally republished his amazing iOS Content blocker 


  • When iOS 9 dropped, Marco Arment released the best ad blocker. 
  • Its problem was that it worked far too well.
  • Arment didn’t want to be in this shitstorm so he pulled it. 

One weird iTunes Connect glitch

  • When I upgraded by iPhone 5s to an iPhone SE in March, about 4 months ago, I was super annoyed there was no way for me to take the software from my 5s and put in on my SE. 
  • Apple have made it impossible to do. I had hoped to use a 3rd party utility to copy the IPA file over. 
  • A couple of months ago, I was delighted to see it in the “purchased” section of the AppStore.

A free, hard-to-find iOS Content Blocker (adblocker) that works

Get it here : Halcyon Ad Blocker – More Beautiful Than Crystal With The Biggest Blocklist On The Planet by Jason Lee

  • It’s difficult to find this because someone else has bought out an app with the same name, that purports to do the same thing.
  • So if you search for it on the AppStore it’s hard to find. So use this direct link instead.

This actually works!

  • The only drawback is there’s no ability to whitelist sites, and it hasn’t been updated since October 2015. But it’s free so what do you expect ?

The impetus for this post

  • I’ve been using Marco Arment’s Peace. He was pressured to withdraw it from sale 

  • I was able to get Peace again a few months ago — it reappeared under the “purchased” tab. 
  • It was working great until a few days ago. 

Update – Marco surprised that it was still working !

Update 2: Marco explains the weird glitch that made Peace go live again:

More info

Name Mangler 3

Name Mangler 3 - By many tricks


Simple yet powerful, work with metadata, live preview and sanity check, create multi step actions

2 - crazy fast - files renamed per second - tested with sample of 5000 files

3 - save presets and access your history

4 - Browser or filter, use more than 150 metadata fields when you need them,

5 - Advanced, Expert mode, Improved language, improved editor

Get: Mac App Store

Viewinmacappstore en


Name Mangler is a blazingly-fast multi-file renaming tool that’s incredibly easy to use.

  • Create single or multi-step renaming actions, save them, and share them across Macs
  • Rename in excess of 2,000 files per second
  • Use files’ metadata (e.g. ISO speed, dimensions, bit rate, etc.) in new names
  • Before and after views of your filenames insure you rename them as you intend
  • Save renaming tasks as droplets: just drag-and-drop files onto a droplet, and they’ll be renamed
  • Load any previously-used rename action from the History browser

Name Mangler 3 represents a quantum leap forward in file renaming: speed and beauty combined with ease of use, and loaded with features.

✨I can attest that this is NOT just marketing bullshit. It really is spectacular. ✨

Tons of new features

  • Multi-step renaming lets you perform complex renaming tasks without touching Advanced mode
  • Metadata accessible for use in all renaming operations, via an intuitive metadata browser
  • Save any renaming action as a Preset, and automatically sync those presets across Macs
  • Export renaming actions for sharing via email, etc.
  • History keeps track of all performed actions, making it simple to reuse these actions
  • Revert last-used renaming operation
  • Shift-drag to file list will add the dragged files to the existing list
  • Delete presets (and snippets, see below) from within Name Mangler by using the Option key
  • Optionally display only files that will be renamed, instead of all files in the list
  • Automatically detect potential duplicates and flag (or optionally automatically fix)
  • Finder is no longer required to be running to use Name Mangler
  • Check for file writable status and warn user if files are not writable

User interface improvements

  • Fully retinaized for the retina Mac laptops
  • The pop-up button for the rename operations has been moved out of the toolbar
  • The ‘Rename’ button is in a more logical and visible spot
  • Choose a dark or light appearance for the file list area
  • The rename action area can be expanded horizontally
  • Status lights next to each filename deliver at-a-glance info on renaming state
  • Interim results show filenames at each step of a multi-step renaming task
  • Tooltips show original names, new names, and errors
  • Query field in Find and Replace makes it more obvious when in regular expression mode
  • Status light for regular expressions shows syntax checking state (green=good, red=bad)
  • New large icon view
  • Automatic view mode determines what details to show based on sort order

Mind-boggling speed improvements

  • Load tens of thousands of files from Finder in only seconds
  • 50 to 100+ times faster than Name Mangler 2
  • Rename from 1,000 to in excess of 2,000 files per second
  • So fast, you may think it’s not doing anything…but it is!

New/improved renaming actions

  • New action: Compose, to start with a completely blank slate
  • Split Insert/Remove into two distinct actions
  • Split Prefix/Suffix into two distinct actions
  • Sequence has been greatly simplified, thanks to multi-step
  • New Sequence formats: Roman Numerals and Letters
  • Sequence start and increments can be negative
  • Increased the maximum and minimum limits for Sequence values
  • Arbitrary Terms is now a format in the Sequence action
  • Arbitrary Terms can take a CSV formatted file as input

Advances in Advanced mode

  • New function: [random (number of character) from (pool)]
  • Auto-complete functions and variables
  • Tab to next empty parameter
  • Auto-indent
  • Selection (or line) can be shifted in or out via Command-[ and Command-]
  • Find and replace
  • Save any Advanced program as a Preset for easy reuse
  • Create snippets of portions of code for easy reuse in other Advanced programs
  • Automatically sync snippets to multiple Macs

Video Demonstrations

// app chasers

Name Mangler 2 was already very good.

name mangler 3

  • This is the sort of graph that smacks of bullshit (i’m a cynic) but I can attest that this is the case. Having used NM3 for more than two years now, I can attest that it is true. It’s not bullshit marketing — it really is a stellar piece of software.
  • NM3 is very powerful, and very fast. It really enables you to automate banal stuff.

My sole criticism of Name Mangler

  • It has a stupid name that’s hard to remember. (Okay, not “stupid” exactly — the more I think about it, it’s actually very apt!, but it’s not catchy. It doesn’t stick in the head.)

The tl;dr — in a nutshell

  • This is really fucking good and you should consider buying it!

Ethics / Declaration

  • If you’re like me, you’ll be immediately suspicious of any fawning review.
  • I have no connection with the developer – I have not been paid by them; I have the freedom to say exactly what I think — negative and positive.
  • This site does not accept or request payment or advertising, anyway, so it really goes without saying.

Baby iPad Pro – screen quality is indescribably amazing

(I was able to borrow one from Apple for a few weeks. I can’t afford one but if I could I would buy one in a heart beat.)

Good things 

  • The screen quality is just spectacular. 

Bad things 

  • The screen seems prone to light scratches — nothing major,  but a disappointment. (I viscerally hate screen protectors; until now I’ve never managed to scratch the screen of my iPad 2 or iPads Mini. Sure the back casing is all scratched up, but not the Arian screen.)
  • Price – you can’t buy a 64 GB configuration so you need to shell out for the 128GB. (If you need to save money, you can get a refurb iPad Air 2 64GB from Apple for £359
  • Camera bump – while a bit annoying at first, it’s actually useful for orienting the device by feel alone. 

Illuminating discussion: Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller on the concept of “differential privacy” to protect customers’ privacy

So I watched the cringe fest that was WWDC, and was unimpressed.

However, in this interview with Apple execs (Phill Shiller & Craig F) explain “differential privacy”… and it’s actually pretty ingenious.

Like, the penny really dropped. 
I despise Facebook (I joined a few months ago) and Google, but they’re both useful services. An authoritarian government in a dystopian future (or just a bad employee*) is able to see everything about your life. It’s potentially dangerous.

* think about what Edward Snowden said about people spying on former partners. That’s unacceptable. No one should have that power.
[Full transcript]

WWDC 2016 cringe