Adblock Plus and (a little) more

First official ad blocker for iOS launches today; ditto for Android · 2015-09-08 11:15 by Ben Williams

Adblock Plus beats iOS 9 to App Store; returns from exile to Play Store

While Apple gears up for iOS 9 and media speculate on some apps in private beta, we’ve gone ahead and launched. That’s right, starting right now you can download Adblock Browser from the App Store for your Apple devices and from the Google Play Store for your Android ones. Adblock Browser blocks annoying ads right out of the box, all in one app.

Go ahead: start blocking annoying ads and saving bandwidth and battery life on your mobile devices … today.

Timing is crucial here: Apple will likely announce ad blocking in iOS 9 this Wednesday, which realistically means that ad blocking will be possible on Safari in about two weeks (because review process). On the other hand, it was about two and a half years ago that Google booted Adblock Plus from the Play Store.

First on Apple, back in Play

Whether you use Adblock Browser on iOS or on Android – or both – the benefits of browsing with this app on your mobile phone are similar.

The first involves your data plan and battery life. Ads cost you data and therefore money. Because Adblock Browser has an ad blocker built in, you block the ad and save the cash. In addition, studies have shown that ads can tap your battery – over 20 percent of it! – so the browser can save your power too.

Second, Adblock Browser will keep you safe and ensure your privacy. Malware-laden ads called malvertising tripled last year. Adblock Browser virtually eliminates these digital vermin by blocking the ads in the first place. We also have an extra feature to block malware domains. Adblock Browser enhances your privacy because it has extra features that block trackers.

Finally, the obvious one: annoyance. Could ads be even more annoying on a small screen? Want to spend a few sentences pondering that? Yeah, me neither. Let’s just agree that most ads are annoying and move on to some of the benefits each particular browser offers.

iOS

Why wait a few weeks to block ads in Safari? Adblock Browser is here today.

We started building the browser a few months ago with a boutique software consultancy called Salsita. We worked with them to build Adblock Browser for iOS on top of their Kitt browser. Kitt is an extensible browser for iOS that makes it easy to build browsers with highly customized functionality.

Thanks to Kitt, we were able to use our existing Adblock Plus extension for Chrome more or less out-of-the-box to create a fantastic ad-free browsing experience on iPhone. Salsita’s CEO Matthew Gertner gets deeper into the nitty-gritty details on their blog today.

Android

Adblock Browser for Android has been in beta since late May. Well over 300,000 people downloaded the beta in the browser’s first week, and over 78,000 people volunteered to help test it in a beta community.

The feedback we got from those 78,000 people in the beta community helped us improve the browser. For instance, you can now block tracking, malware and social media buttons, plus enable additional blocking features. The new browser also supports many languages, and we did a makeover on the look and feel, stamping it with its own character.

And as I said at the outset, we have a rocky history with the Play Store – as in, we got kicked out of it – so it’s great to be back. Like we never left.

Comment [26]

  1. Colm · 2015-09-08 11:32 · #

    Just went to the Play Store, why does the browser need permissions to my camera, microphone and precise location?

    Reply from Felix Dahlke:

    Please see: https://adblockbrowser.org/en/android-support/faq

  2. Matthew · 2015-09-08 17:40 · #

    This is cool, just downloaded!

    For reference, when will the Adblock plus content blocker for Safari be available? Will it cost money?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Very soon: after they announce iOS 9 and after the mandatory App Store review process. And price? C’mon :) — it’s gonna be free of course.

  3. Anon · 2015-09-08 20:27 · #

    As far as adblocking in iOS 9 goes how will you get it? Will it be another app to download kinda like third party keyboards or will the extension be baked into the adblock plus browser and than you just have to enable it in Safari?

    Thanks!

  4. Jake · 2015-09-08 21:37 · #

    It doesn’t support basic http authentication, shows pop up on each page after login. Then crashes. Also, should support swipe left right for previous next page. Decent first version though. Look forward to new updates.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Good point on the http authentication, we’ve experience that too. Seems to be a bug in the iOS version. Regarding the swiping, we’ve added that to our central requests list.

    Thanks for the feedback, very helpful!

  5. eileen · 2015-09-09 02:32 · #

    very goood

  6. 43p742 · 2015-09-09 05:17 · #

    Awesome! But can you sync Chrome bookmarks on Adblock Browser? I need my bookmarks for quick access.

  7. Matt · 2015-09-09 09:03 · #

    OK first off this is not an ad blocker. It’s a browser that can block ads. Dolphin Browser has done that for years on iOS.

    Secondly there have been ad blockers on iOS for years that do more than Adblock Plus. WeBlock for example blocks ads in browsers/apps and games using Wifi.

    A new app that just came out around the same time as Adblock Plus is Been Choice. It uses VPN to block ads in third party browsers/apps and games. It works on both cellular data and on Wifi. It’s also completely free.

    So Adblock Plus needs to make their app do what Been Choice does which is to block ads in third party browsers/apps and games to be useful.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I wonder why you think a product called Adblock Browser should be something other than a browser(?). In any case, maybe give it a whirl as your browser. You may like it.

  8. Mubin Lakadia · 2015-09-09 11:25 · #

    Is your app ready for iOS9? NO ???
    Make your apps iOS 9 compatible now…
    Visit our site www.sevenstarinfotech.com or contact us on skype:: sevenstar.infotech

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    We will have an app for iOS 9 that will block ads in Safari. But we have to wait for iOS 9 to go live first ;)

    (Btw, Adblock Browser will of course also be compatible with iOS 9.)

  9. Jeff Cracolici · 2015-09-09 16:07 · #

    This seems awesome! Will it block just banner ads and such in browsers or does it also block in-app ads as well?

  10. Agony · 2015-09-10 12:06 · #

    I see that I cannot save links through the APP (download a file from a website) or am I missing it?

  11. Grant · 2015-09-10 18:05 · #

    Having issues on several publisher sites, Bloomberg Business for example, on getting any video to playback. Assuming this has to do with the enabling of your blocker. Can you confirm or offer any insight?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Good catch. It’s a bug, we’re on it: https://issues.adblockplus.org/ticket/3074

  12. Matt Perkins · 2015-09-12 00:19 · #

    @Ben Williams

    I think you’re missing the point. Why would you make a browser that has an ad blocker but can only block ads in that browser?

    Why not instead make an app that can not only block ads in other browsers such as Chrome and Safari but also can block ads in apps/games using VPN so it can block ads on both Wifi and on Cellular?

    Sounds to me like this was done because not only was it the cheaper way to go but also to collect user data by confining users to use a certain browser over giving them a choice.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Matt. The reason to not block ads in Chrome is because it doesn’t support extensions. As for Safari, because of Apple’s support of content blocking, we will have an app that will block ads in Safari very soon.

    In-app ads is another can of worms. We haven’t had as much user demand for that but wouldn’t rule it out for the future.

    As for “cheap” — c’mon, man, it’s a lot of work building a browser! :)

  13. Grant Warso · 2015-09-15 09:19 · #

    thanks for creating this very authentic option for adblock fans on ios. so fantastic and interface is very sleek for 1.0 version.
    can we expect to have incognito tab and built-in cookie/cache manager function in the future update for ios app?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Yep, we’ve gotten lots of requests for this and are working to put them into the next version.

  14. Jason · 2015-09-17 04:01 · #

    Thank you so much for creating a fantastic app. I think its ad blocking engine and accuracy is much better than any other iOS9 compatible apps such as purify or blockr.
    I really hope you would very soon create an app not a browser with the same function, because adblock browser cannot import bookmarks and a little bit heavy. I want to use your function in Safari. Thanks a lot for the great work!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks for the kind words!

    We will most definitely have an iOS app that will work in Safari. It’s in review, just waiting on Apple. Look out for it.

  15. Lightsfantastic · 2015-09-19 21:09 · #

    Love the browser and know you are working on improvements. I get a consistent crash when I push the history button. It worked yesterday but today i cannot see the history.
    Looking forward to future improvements.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Cool, glad you like it. Haven’t had that issue yet but will record it. Thanks!

  16. Ben Deho · 2015-09-21 18:32 · #

    Consider partnering with the guy that makes iCabMobile – it’s easily the best alternative browser so far on iOS, has some ad-blocking ability enabled already, but would be a great way to go if you can.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Will check it out, but right now we’ve got our hands full with 2 new browsers and iOS 9. Thanks for the tip!

  17. Seth · 2015-09-26 12:35 · #

    Does anyone know if content blocking for Chrome Mobile is likely to follow?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Probably not, because Chrome mobile does not support extensions. Why not just try Adblock Browser? As opposed to iOS, which only allows Safari as the default browser, you can make any one you want default in Android.

    https://adblockbrowser.org/

  18. Rob · 2015-09-26 16:03 · #

    I don’t see a Home button on the browser. How do I easily get back to a home page?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks for the suggestion. We added all your feedback to our list of features which we evaluate to integrate in future releases. Everything that we’re working on will be listed here: https://issues.adblockplus.org/report/51

  19. draktok · 2015-09-28 21:54 · #

    Trying to use it now,

    It’s nice, but somehow i think google chrome feels smoother. I have a hard time to explain. One thing i notice, is i browse 4chan / v/ a lot. On v, when you click the numbers under a post, it shows the reply. This works on your browser. However when you click the #tag, it takes you to the post in chrome. In your browser it does not. Can you test / confirm for me?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks. Are talking about iOS or Android?

  20. draktok · 2015-09-28 21:57 · #

    One reply to my original comment, if i can’t get used to this browser (I tried to get used to firefox and didn’t like it) , is it possible to get adblock + on chrome on the mobile? If not i may go back to firefox. I“m trying to find a good solution, mostly for my GF. Personally I don’t have a problem with less smooth, but my gf always has virus on her android, i’m searching for solution for her. Ads are the main reason she get virus.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Unfortunately, Chrome mobile does not support extensions :/ so no ABP there. But you can download ABP on Firefox as an extension (just like on desktop). But before you do, maybe give our browser another shot. It’ll just get better from here …

  21. Chris · 2015-09-30 13:59 · #

    Love it! Love you guys, keep developing and keep enjoying what you do! Thanks for adding support so fast for the new iOS extensions!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks!

  22. Shiddy · 2015-10-01 09:52 · #

    I don’t want another browser, I wanna block ads on the browsers I already have..

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Why not download our iOS app that works in Safari? https://itunes.apple.com/app/adblock-plus-abp/id1028871868

  23. Guilherme · 2015-10-02 05:10 · #

    The Adblock Plus app only works for iPhone 5s+ nothing for iPhone 5? ;-;

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Content blocking tools that Apple provided unfortunately don’t work on iPhone 5 devices due to their 32 bit processors. Sorry :/

  24. Вадим · 2015-10-10 21:28 · #

    Hi! Adblock Plus for iOS 9 work fine!
    Thank you!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Great!

  25. Ramonky · 2015-10-13 01:03 · #

    iPhone 5 have iOS 9….
    What happen with it? Why is not compatible?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hi Ramonky, the app is only working on iPhone 5s and newer models with iOS 9 installed. The reason for that is that it needs a 64 bits device.

  26. نرم افزار اندروید · 2015-10-17 15:13 · #

    Very good. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Glad you like it!

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