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AdBlock Browser for Android - will Google let it through?

Barry Collins
20 May 2015
Android 6.0 M devices
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Will Google approve Android browser that promises to root out all those annoying ads?

The makers of AdBlock Plus are set for another confrontation with Google, after launching a browser designed specifically to strip out ads. The company has launched an open beta of Adblock Browser for Android, despite having its previous app banned by Google.

A version of AdBlock Plus for Android already exists, allowing users to block ads in their default browser, but Google controversially booted it out of the Play Store, citing "interference with another service or product in an unauthorised manner". The app is still available for download from the AdBlock Plus website, but has to be sideloaded onto the device. 

The new browser doesn't interfere with any other browser application, potentially giving Google - which makes virtually all of its money from advertising income - no good reason to bar it from the Play Store. The developers claim it is the only Android browser to offer ad blocking by default, and will help mobile surfers to see pages load more quickly and preserve battery life. The developers cite figures from a Microsoft study that claim mobile ads were responsible for 23% of the battery drain created by Windows Phone apps. 

As on the desktop, users of the AdBlock Browser will be given the option to let non-intrusive ads through, potentially helping website owners to generate income from their content. "Annoying ads" - those that use animations or audio - will always be blocked by the browser. 

"As people have embraced the mobile web, advertisers have rushed in after them and destroyed the user experience with ads that are often thoughtlessly designed, as well as mobile ad networks that are riddled with security holes," says said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. "Adblock Browser for Android puts the control back into users' hands."

Those wishing to join the Adblock Browser beta should follow the instructions on this Google+ site. The app was yet to appear in the Google Play Store at the the time of publication, although it should be noted that the original AdBlock Plus was initially approved before being kicked out of the store. 

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