Adblock Plus launches for Android, kills ads on web AND in apps

Most of us understand that ads within apps are something of a necessary evil. While no-one likes ads, we begrudgingly acknowledge that those who work hard to develop and perfect the apps that we use - and which we often expect to download free of charge - deserve some recompense for their efforts. If we're too stingy to pay up front, ads are usually an acceptable compromise.

But of course, deep down, we all want a free lunch with no strings attached. Adblock Plus, the popular web plug-in that has liberated so many of us from the scourge of ads in our PC web browsers, is now making that happen on our smartphones, as it launches a version designed for Android handsets, available now from the Google Play store.

The app "blocks all annoying ads on your Android device" with "no root required". More than just killing ads within your phone or tablet browser, Adblock Plus promises to go even further, by eliminating all ads from your apps too. Indeed, it's claimed that it will block "mobile ads, video advertising, banners, push notifications, display advertising, HTML5 advertising and much more".

The app requires Android 2.1 Eclair or above, but there may be some compatibility and functionality issues, depending on your Android version and whether or not you've already rooted your device. Be sure to check for details before downloading.

For Android users, this will be manna from heaven. For Android developers relying on ads to generate revenues from their free apps, this won't be welcome news at all.

If you're new to Adblock Plus, check out the vid below for a quick overview:

Source and image: Google Play | via BGR

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37 Comments

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Solution to developers. Provide a paid version of your app. I would much rather pay a few bucks for the app that deal with annoying intrusive ads. When ads cover up where I need to click or block what I need to see, I block them. If I like an app, I will pay for the ad free version...if available.

I don't mind ads...Except video ads, and ads that send me notifications. Otherwise, I don't mind them. And that goes for all ads on my pc as well. Ads help the developers.
I've uninstalled a few apps that send notification ads. I don't go and buy the app, I uninstall it lol The apps that I have bought are ones that had ads, but non-intrusive ads.

I'd like to see similar apps show up in windows 8 to block ads on apps. I'm sure google won't like it but their days as the spam can of the internet need to come to an end sooner or later.

I'm surprised Google allows such apps to run on android considering a lot of their own revenue comes from ads.

I'm ok with these apps existing. I'm totally fine with small text/image ads showing up in my apps. It's the video/sound ones that are unacceptable. They are not only annoying, they sometimes make your app slower than it should be, and they eat up your already limited, expensive data plan.

In those situations, I'm ok with installing adblock.

spacer said,
I'm surprised Google allows such apps to run on android considering a lot of their own revenue comes from ads.

I'm ok with these apps existing. I'm totally fine with small text/image ads showing up in my apps. It's the video/sound ones that are unacceptable. They are not only annoying, they sometimes make your app slower than it should be, and they eat up your already limited, expensive data plan.

In those situations, I'm ok with installing adblock.

banning it would be abuse of monopoly. so let them try. ask MSFT how the DOJ and EU like companies protecting their revenue streams by throwing their way around.

Having just released my game for Android, I'm really glad I didn't release an ad supported version (that was something I considered at first)

How does it work? Afaik Android browsers don't have any kind of extension support so the Adblock Plus is probably some sort of filter proxy that runs in the background, right?

It's not limited to Android, iOS has trhis problem too. I uninstalled "Words for Friends Free" when it started popping up alerts that some Facebook friend had made a "great" move and I should congratulate him.

Firstly, I had disabled the Facebook login on WWF (mistakenly enabled it when I installed it) and secondly, I didn't have an active game with that person either?

Talk about intrusive! Even though it wasn't really an ad per se.

rippleman said,
so those that have free apps, do you have any idea how they are intended to be able to be free?

By having a "donation" version with extra features?

rippleman said,
so those that have free apps, do you have any idea how they are intended to be able to be free?

Clearly what everyone really wants are in-app microtransactions for added functionality.

That, and nagware. Lots and lots of nagware. Can't block nagware!

There's also always the Hulu solution: block the ads, force you to stare at a place-holder screen for a minute and a half anyway.

Pupik said,
By having a "donation" version with extra features?

Because that always works.
Historically, I have seent the donation model on PCs replaced with adware bundled in installers and 'paid' versions that remove the adware. Then the product dies and the devs move on to the next scam.
This would be bad for Android.

Good ad-driven apps generate more revenue than paid apps by a long shot.

For those of us that rooted and modded our phones (Serendipity for me) this has never been an issue. It has always blocked ads.

Perfect72 said,
For those of us that rooted and modded our phones (Serendipity for me) this has never been an issue. It has always blocked ads.
Huh? Just the act of rooting your phone (and even changing ROM's) will NOT remove ads automatically. If you download a new ROM that has some sort of adblocking built in, then yes, it will probably block ads.

Been using AdFree for a while. As it's doing the job just fine by blocking the ads in the dns settings in all web sites in any browser and apps, I don't see a reason to switch.

Edited by Pupik, Nov 28 2012, 8:29am :

mrbester said,
I prefer AdAway

Tried it. Noticed it let a few ads slip through in sites and apps so returned to AdFree.

THE_OBSERVER said,
I thought the first rule of NEOWIN was not to talk about adblock plus?

"If you don't talk about it, it doesn't exist"… what a bunch of bull**** Seriously Neowin?

I think the rule is: if ya use it, Cool. Talk about it? Cool. Gloat about it like an arrogant douche bag, not cool.

At least, that was what I gathered from the last pow wow on the subject with the staff. I wouldn't blame them either.

dead.cell said,
I think the rule is: if ya use it, Cool. Talk about it? Cool. Gloat about it like an arrogant douche bag, not cool.

At least, that was what I gathered from the last pow wow on the subject with the staff. I wouldn't blame them either.

yea i think the rule about talking about using can also get your a warning or banned.

THE_OBSERVER said,
I thought the first rule of NEOWIN was not to talk about adblock plus?
Yeah!
And the second rule of NEOWIN is WE DO NOT talk about adblock plus!

Good for Users. Very bad for Developers.

Android is full of pirated market. If atleast ads can't run. it's pathetic situation for devs

nitins60 said,
Good for Users. Very bad for Developers.

Android is full of pirated market. If atleast ads can't run. it's pathetic situation for devs

If it's an app that doesn't really need an internet connection, then it shouldn't use one for the ads inside it. Anything else i'm ok with.

Not really, all devs have to do is make all their free apps paid apps. Problem solved. I think Adblock Plus might actually be a good thing for the app quality on android.

LauRoman said,
If it's an app that doesn't really need an internet connection, then it shouldn't use one for the ads inside it. Anything else i'm ok with.

If you don't want ads, stop being cheap and just buy it. Too cheap to buy it? Stop complaining.

flexkeyboard said,
might actually be a good thing for the app quality on android.

Quality, yes.
Quantity no.
Ads = Revenue.

This could kill the Android market. Everyone knows the market ARPU on Android is much lower than the other 'store' driven mobile OSes.
With Android users being too cheap to buy apps, I see many Ad-driven devs jumping ship.