Adblock Browser is here · 2015-05-20 11:07 by Ben Williams
Today we are pleased to announce Adblock Browser for Android, our first foray into a more complete mobile ad blocking solution and a great browser to boot. Adblock Browser for Android will block annoying ads automatically, which can save you battery power, keep you safe from threats and give you control of your browsing on the go. For more information on technical aspects of it and our reasons for choosing this route, see this accompanying post by my colleague Felix.
To get a sneak peek and give us feedback on what we should add to it join our beta community here (see detailed instructions below).
As readers of this blog, you won’t be surprised to know that Adblock Browser comes pre-installed with Adblock Plus. Here’s a rundown of its features:
- Automatic adblocking – This is the first browser of its kind to offer users ad blocking as an integrated feature. As more users block ads on their desktop, many are finding little value in the ads served on their phones and tablets. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers from last year found that most mobile ad clicks were accidents. Automatic ad blocking in a browser app is the crucial first step in a complete mobile ad blocking solution.
- Fast, efficient browsing – Ads cause pages to load slower and can consume 23 percent of your battery. Loading ads also costs data, so blocking them on your mobile browser saves you on your data plan.
- Safer browsing – Malware often hides behind ads, even on trusted networks. Blocking annoying ads reduces your risk of infection, and Adblock Plus has been recommended by Stanford University, UC Santa Barbara and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Total control – Annoying ads are always blocked, but users can encourage better ads by allowing nonintrusive ads to display. Users can change this setting at any time by simply tapping the Menu icon > Settings > Adblocking -> Adblocking -> Acceptable Ads.
Get the beta now!
Join the Adblock Browser Beta Google+ community here (make sure you’re looged into G+ first!):
From there just click the red Join button on the righthand side. Once you’ve joined go to “About this Community” and click the “Beta Opt-In.” There you can get exclusive access to the beta, install it and help us test it.
Important: it usually takes some time for Google to review apps, so you may not be able to download it immediately (even though you can join the community).*
Adblock Plus and the mobile challenge
Advertisers haven’t exactly been bashful about entering the mobile market. Mobile ad spend continues to grow.
But with ads comes danger. A recent study tested 2,146 Android apps, and found that in total they connected to 250,000 different URLs across almost 2,000 top-level domains. Around 30 percent linked to trackers and the average app connected to 40 ad URLs (full study here). Add to this the sheer annoyance factor, and the need for mobile ad blocking is clear.
For technical and privacy-related reasons, we have decided to tackle the issue carefully. There are other approaches out there, which we have looked into (and could reproduce). But these sometimes present privacy concerns — do you really want someone controlling your entire network? — not to mention potential legal and net neutrality issues.
We decided instead to keep the focus on the user. And we’ve got Step 1 checked off with Adblock Browser for Android. Help us make it better by testing it (see above for instructions) and stay tuned … cuz we’re just getting warmed up.
Commenting is closed for this article.