Adblock Plus for Android now available in Google Play, filters web content and ad-supported apps

by: AdrianNovember 27, 2012

Surfing the web can be such a pain nowadays, with annoying and persistent ads following you at every step. The nuisance of ads on mobile is even more distressing, as these can not only cripple your browsing experience, but also bug the heck out of you inside free, “ad-supported” apps.

Thankfully, Adblock Plus, the go-to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera add-on, has finally made its debut in Google Play, being available starting today for devices running Android 2.1 and higher.

Adblock Plus for Android theoretically blocks ads both in apps and around the web, but, just like on Google Chrome or Firefox, there are a few limitations. First off, the app runs best on rooted devices. If you have such a gadget, you will be able to block ads over both Wi-Fi and 3G without having to make any manual changes to your phone or tab.

For non-rooted devices, things are a bit more complicated. If you’re on Android 3.1 or higher, you’ll only be able to block ads over Wi-Fi, while on 3G (and 4G) nothing will be intercepted. Meanwhile, non-rooted gadgets with Android 3.0 or lower will require some manual configuration (more details here).

If you’re wondering how it all works, you should know that everything Adblock Plus does does with proxies, routing your traffic through their safe servers and removing the ads before the content reaches you.

Sure enough, that can give birth to glitches or bugs, so be prepared to still see some ads (or parts of ads) slipping through the cracks. This is only a first version of the app, so we should also expect some of the glitches to go away with future updates, while if you want to give Adblock Plus a personal touch you can do so – after all, it’s an open-source project.

One last limitation you should know of is on SSL encrypted websites, where blocking is blocked by default, while if you want to choose the specific content to filter you can do that with blocking lists. The app is up for grabs for free via Google Play, so what are you still waiting for?

  • True_Neutral

    Anybody wanna bet how long it takes for Google to remove this from the Play Store? It goes against Google’s main business, which is advertising.

    • Markus Ressel

      and what about AdAway?

    • Erik Huntoon

      Doubtful that Google removes it as the Ad Block extension for Chrome has been available from the Google Webstore for well over a year now if not longer.

  • Dan

    Of course, if you use Adblock to block the ads in apps, you’re a scumbag.

    • PopeJamal

      Hmm. I always thought making broad generalizations about people you don’t know made you a scumbag. Interesting…

      • MasterMuffin

        Yea but it’s almost like stealing, a person/many people have worked hard to make that great app and they’re so nice that they give it to you for free, but they also need money for supporting or if they do it as their job, they need to get paid so they can live a normal life, so they put these little ads that harm nobody in their app. Then comes this one scumbag who downloads the app and disables adds -.-

  • Larkhillv

    I use adaway. Works pretty well on most apps and web pages. I don’t feel the need to switch but I am glad there are options.

    • Markus Ressel

      I dont like AdBlock since it proxys everything just to filter ads. The AdAway method (hosts file) seems to be faster and more secure.

  • Morris

    I already use Adaway. Does this do anything different and can it turn off ad blocking on demand? Because it ends up blocking links that use doubleclick etc

  • I have a feeling this is going to do more harm than good. Developers who rely on ads are going to lose money and likely not want to make or support apps, Google will lose money as well.

  • Doug Rector

    Developers who post free apps usually make a pitiful amount from the adds, I know because I am one. But it is something. Luckily most don’t bother blocking the adds. The whole business model depends on add revenue, without it bills don’t get paid and the incentive to write software updates disappears. And trust me – when android gets updated, things break.

    The alternative is to spend a buck or to – a pittance really – on an add free version. Seems nobody wants to do that based on thousands of downloads for our add supported vs a handful of buyers for our add free apps.

    So the alternative for us is to stop putting out add supported software, rely on people to download a crippled/time limited version of the software and if they like it they can buy it. It was a shareware model that worked for computer software for years –

    So short term – steal the software – block the adds if you want – long term that will not work and it will end up costing a lot more for a lot less choices as developers get sick of the whole routine.

    • GalaxyNoteTaker

      You are absolutely right. I have been working on some Android apps myself but am now very reluctant to continue working on them. I am beginning to doubt whether Google really knows what they are doing with Android. Yes, yes, phandroids, I realize it’s the most popular this and that and whatever…. but the fact is, Google makes money from ads… and they continue to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing crap like this to exist. Better get this turned around. Now.

    • g0vt_h00ker

      People in other countries will do it for less than what you call pitiful. Typical spoiled American

      • Doug Rector

        At the moment with thousands of downloads it hasnt amounted to enough to pay for the electricity to run the computer while working the hundreds of hours it took to develop them. I wish I was spoiled.

  • Doug Rector

    You know it is rare that anything these days is really free – either the money is made from ads, or if those are not obvious from adware, spyware, data mining etc., so when you allow all your data to go through someone elses proxy server, giving them access to everything you do – you are potentially giving them everything you own for the benefit of a few ads blocked.