Smart App Banners in iOS, be gone

Apple introduced Smart App Banners so people using Safari in iOS can be informed / reminded / annoyed about an associated app produced by the host site or organization.

For example, you’ll see this thing if you land on a Wall Street Journal story:

Smart App Banner Wall Street Journal

It’s interesting the first time, tiresome the second, and anger-inducing the third.

And it doesn’t go away. Reload the page and it stays. Visit a different story on the same site, it’s still there.

If you visit a certain site regularly — as I do with ESPN — you’ll really hate these things.

Worse still, there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to disable Smart App Banners if you’re unwilling to Jailbreak your system.

These things are problematic for developers as well. Dion Almaer wrote up six simple functions that are missing from the current system. Most of his suggestions are of the be-nice-to-people variety:

I would like to declare “I don’t want to bug the users, so only show the message once a month”

That’s reasonable, and it’s a shame it has to be addressed at all.