I've been looking forward to writing up my first experiences with Sudo Software's Guardian firewall for iOS.
Here's a few thoughts on it. Keep in mind the app is still in beta and isn't a final release candidate just yet.
Once installed, the only thing a user needs to do to activate Guardian, is touch the blue G:
From a usability perspective, it's probably the simplest design I've ever seen in the context of being user-friendly. Upon installation, it does all the work, installs the app, configures a VPN (if you already have one configured and in use, it will override and disable it), and offers only two tabs at the bottom to choose from: Protect and Alerts.
For me, the app blocks data tracking almost exclusively as my phone does not permit use of geotracking. So the alerts I see have to do with those types of services. Users may touch one of the blocked services to get another screen that offer no more detailed info, just a reiteration of the same as the list.
The types of trackers I've seen Guardian block and/or detect so far are the usual suspects: AppFlyers, Adjust, and Scorecard Research. I'm curious what options users might have for blockig detected tracking in the final release (remember this is still in beta).
Personally, I'd like more access to what's under the hood. I'm not talking iptables-type access necessarily but something more akin to what my default expectations are. For example, I'd like to see more granular explanations of blocked/detected services, options to deny/allow, and use my own VPN, or at least select specific servers in specific regions, for starters. As it is, it's a little too simplistic for my taste.
In any case, this is a first and important step in the evolution of valuing and protecting our privacy on this platform. I can only imagine once it's tweaking to users' delight, Apple will assimilate it into the os in earnest. For now, this is a great start. Except for the price, which may turn some folks off, starting at $12.50/month. Keep in mind this also includes VPN, which most people do not use as a general practice and typically costs between $5-10 per month. Rolled into one, it's not a terrible price point but will pose as an obstacle to wider adoption.
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