Apple is refunding all purchases of ad-blocking app Peace

Apple is refunding all purchases of Peace, the popular ad-blocking app that was pulled from the App Store last week after its creator changed his mind.

Peace founder Marco Arment saw his $2.99 app skyrocket in popularity when it was released Wednesday. But soon he was lamenting that its success “just doesn’t feel good” amid questions about the ethics of ad-blocking software. Two days later, he took it down after the app became the No. 1 paid app in the U.S. App Store for about 36 hours.

“Even though I’m ‘winning,’ I’ve enjoyed none of it,” he said at the time. “That’s why I’m withdrawing from the market. It’s simply not worth it.”

In a blog post Monday, Arment said he was notified by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company that it would be “proactively refunding” customers, a process that he said would probably take a few days.

“As far as I know, this effectively never happens,” he wrote in a blog post. “When I decided to pull the app, I asked some Apple friends if this was even possible, and we all thought the same thing: iTunes billing works the way it works, period, and no special cases can be made.”


Arment said developers have no ability to issue refunds, so he had to tell people to individually request refunds from Apple, which was “a clunky process.” More than 13,000 people were granted refunds through that system during the last few days.

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“Today, Apple made the decision for me, in a way that I didn’t even think was possible, and I’m actually happy,” Arment said. “Or at least, as happy as someone can be who just made a lot of money on a roller coaster of surprise, guilt, and stress, then lost it all suddenly in a giant, unexpected reset that actually resolves things pretty well.”

Other ad blockers are still available in the App Store, and Arment suggested that iOS users download Purify or Crystal “both of which are good apps that were probably about to surpass Peace anyway.”

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