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.
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.
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.
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