Sick of advertisements cluttering your Android mobile browser? Adblock Plus has a new solution, dubbed Adblock 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,” Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida said in a statement.
Adblock Browser for Android, however, promises to patch those holes, block intrusive ads, and save battery life. Loading ads can consume up to 23 percent of your phone’s battery life, while some mobile ads are infected with malware, Adblock said.
Adblock previously developed an app for Android, but it was yanked from Google Play in 2013 alongside a number of other ad-blocking apps. The Android app, meanwhile, only blocked ads over HTTP (un-encrypted) connections, which is less and less relevant as the Web moves over to HTTPS (encrypted) connections. So now, the company is going the browser route.
Adblock Browser is based on Firefox for Android. “Mozilla’s openness is what made Adblock Plus possible in the first place. And since we have to bet on one platform, we decided to bet on Firefox,” said Felix Dahlke, Adblock’s lead developer.
Adblock actually already has an extension for Firefox for Android, but the company said it is limited in how it can implement it on mobile. “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,” Dahlke said.
“Adblock Browser for Android puts the control back into users’ hands,” according to Faida. “A complete Android browser app is a natural progression for us.
Those who want to try it out can download the beta and provide feedback to the team. Adblock said an iOS version is coming soon.
If your browser is looking a bit bare with Adblock, you can allow Adblock Browser to display non-intrusive ads; just visit Menu > Settings > Acceptable Ads to make the change any time.
The release comes after Adblock last month secured a win in Germany, when a local court ruled that software meant to prevent ads from appearing on websites is perfectly legal. After a four-month trial, Adblock prevailed over publishers Die Zeit and Handelsblatt, which claimed the Web plug-in is anticompetitive.
Facebook users may also be familiar with the ad-blocking service, which, in October issued a workaround for the social network’s Atlas advertising platform. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Android users can tap into the software to curb Facebook advertisements across the Web.