If you have been using computers for a while, then most probably you are familiar with AdBlock Plus: the popular ad-blocking browser extension that allows users to effectively block annoying, bandwidth-hogging advertisements in most websites. From personal experience, the extension works surprisingly well, especially during the time when I had a crappy internet connection in my place.
Quite expectedly however, AdBlock Plus is not very popular with advertising companies such as Google and Yahoo, which is why the last time it had an app in the Google Play Store back in 2013, it was removed, with reason cited as “interference with another service or product in an unauthorised manner.”
After a two-year break, however, AdBlock Plus is finally back on Android. Sort of.
Enter the AdBlock Browser, which the company launched last Wednesday. It is a mobile browser based from a version of Mozilla Firefox (hence the apparent familiarity of the user interface to most modern mobile browsers), aimed at Android users. Of course, it has the company’s ad-blocking service out of the box. Although yet to be available on the Google Play Store, interested Android users may already get their hands on the beta release of the app through the company’s Google+ group. It is complete with download and installation instructions. An iOS version is said to be in development as well, although the company was mum as to when it would eventually be available.
The AdBlock Browser’s default settings enable blocking of all advertisements that don’t necessarily meet the company’s guidelines for acceptable ads. A whitelisting process to automatically unblock ads on sites that meets its criteria is also in place to allow non-intrusive (or user-approved) ads to be shown.
According to AdBlock’s Felix Dahlke, the use of Mozilla’s technology as the foundation of the AdBlock browser was particularly appealing to the company due to its open approach. He further adds, “Building our own browser gives us a lot more freedom to integrate adblocking as a first class feature that’s easy to understand and configure. For now, our goal is to build a solid mobile browser with great adblocking integrated.”
The AdBlock Browser is currently being reviewed by the folks at Google, which should take some time considering the two company’s history.