Ad blocking remains a contentious issue, but Samsung looks to be coming down on the side of anti-ads. Today, the smartphone giant is updating its Android browser to support content and ad blocking add-ons.
The Internet 4.0 browser, which is installed by default on Samsung’s phones and tablets, is seeing an update today on devices which are running Android Lollipop or newer. Samsung’s isn’t providing ad blocking capabilities as standard, but is now opening the door for users to install ad blocking add-ons from third parties if they wish. The aim appears to be to allow customers to speed up web page loading times and save on their data allowances, as advertisements can be rather bandwidth heavy, as well as better competing with features from popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
One of the first compatible add-ons for Samsung’s browser is Adblock Fast, which is also available for Chrome, Opera and iOS devices. The plug-in is free to download from the Play Store and claims to decreases web page loading times on Android by an average of 51 percent. Crystal, one of the early ad blockers for iOS 9, is also now compatible with Samsung’s default browser and additional choices are no doubt on the way.
Ad blocking remains far less common on mobile that it is in the desktop space, but this is probably somewhat linked to the fact that some default Android browsers don’t provide ad blocking capabilities and many consumers stick with the pre-installed software. Samsung’s large install base could certainly see the number of ad block users increase now, although that will require users to go out of their way to install these extensions.