Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Adblock Browser is here · 2015-05-20 11:07 by Ben Williams

Today we are pleased to announce Adblock Browser for Android, our first foray into a more complete mobile ad blocking solution and a great browser to boot. Adblock Browser for Android will block annoying ads automatically, which can save you battery power, keep you safe from threats and give you control of your browsing on the go. For more information on technical aspects of it and our reasons for choosing this route, see this accompanying post by my colleague Felix.

To get a sneak peek and give us feedback on what we should add to it join our beta community here (see detailed instructions below).

As readers of this blog, you won’t be surprised to know that Adblock Browser comes pre-installed with Adblock Plus. Here’s a rundown of its features:

  • Automatic adblocking – This is the first browser of its kind to offer users ad blocking as an integrated feature. As more users block ads on their desktop, many are finding little value in the ads served on their phones and tablets. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers from last year found that most mobile ad clicks were accidents. Automatic ad blocking in a browser app is the crucial first step in a complete mobile ad blocking solution.
  • Fast, efficient browsing – Ads cause pages to load slower and can consume 23 percent of your battery. Loading ads also costs data, so blocking them on your mobile browser saves you on your data plan.
  • Total control – Annoying ads are always blocked, but users can encourage better ads by allowing nonintrusive ads to display. Users can change this setting at any time by simply tapping the Menu icon > Settings > Adblocking -> Adblocking -> Acceptable Ads.

Get the beta now!

Join the Adblock Browser Beta Google+ community here (make sure you’re looged into G+ first!):

From there just click the red Join button on the righthand side. Once you’ve joined go to “About this Community” and click the “Beta Opt-In.” There you can get exclusive access to the beta, install it and help us test it.

Important: it usually takes some time for Google to review apps, so you may not be able to download it immediately (even though you can join the community).*

Adblock Plus and the mobile challenge

Advertisers haven’t exactly been bashful about entering the mobile market. Mobile ad spend continues to grow.

But with ads comes danger. A recent study tested 2,146 Android apps, and found that in total they connected to 250,000 different URLs across almost 2,000 top-level domains. Around 30 percent linked to trackers and the average app connected to 40 ad URLs (full study here). Add to this the sheer annoyance factor, and the need for mobile ad blocking is clear.

For technical and privacy-related reasons, we have decided to tackle the issue carefully. There are other approaches out there, which we have looked into (and could reproduce). But these sometimes present privacy concerns — do you really want someone controlling your entire network? — not to mention potential legal and net neutrality issues.

We decided instead to keep the focus on the user. And we’ve got Step 1 checked off with Adblock Browser for Android. Help us make it better by testing it (see above for instructions) and stay tuned … cuz we’re just getting warmed up.

Comment [16]

  1. why · 2015-05-20 16:54 · #

    not a big fan of social club neither google plus.. please give us an option of how to download the apk just like your adblock plus app.. hope you will consider my request..


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    We’d prefer that people join the community so we get good feedback. But if you’d prefer not to, there’s a QR code and a direct download link under “About this community.”

  2. why · 2015-05-20 19:19 · #

    thank you very much and much appreciate for your reply. I have been lazy and not even checked the google plus page.


  3. Omega · 2015-05-21 00:56 · #

    So this is the reason why Firefox ABP isn’t being improved? For shame. I guess it really is time to use uBlock.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Nope. Still developing like normal on Firefox:

  4. Adam Davies · 2015-05-21 01:49 · #

    I, for one, am glad to see a little competition amung the very limited browser choice. It’s a bonus that advert / script blocking comes as standard (even chrome’s XSS filter is pretty lame) :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks, Adam. We hope we can shake up the browser market a bit, give people what they want.

  5. Drojek · 2015-05-21 07:43 · #

    Any chance a browser for Windows is in the future? Just curious :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Anything’s possible! No specific plans right now, but we’ll see.

  6. AMIR MOR · 2015-05-21 13:40 · #

    It’s to good

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Glad you like it!

  7. Samael Wang · 2015-05-21 18:06 · #

    It looks a customized Firefox for Android. Is there anything improved or customized on the browser other than preloaded ABP extension?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Well, it is based on Firefox. But the beta is for changing/improving the UX, among other things; so it’ll get its own look and feel + new features. Best thing to do: let us know what you want in it!

  8. jaded · 2015-05-21 20:41 · #

    Do you need lollipop? I have a Dell venue 3740 running kitkat 4.4.1 and it crashes during loading.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    It is compatible with Android 2.3 and above so you should be fine. Storage or RAM issue?

    BTW: for quicker service please join our Google+ community — that’s where we’re fielding QA for now:

    Hope you get it going! Let us know if not.

  9. Jason · 2015-05-22 12:00 · #

    This is great. Are you guys developing anything for IOS or maybe even your own full PC/MAC compatible browser?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Definitely developing for iOS! Sign up for updates on our progress here:

  10. patrick · 2015-05-22 22:28 · #

    Just wondering is addblock plus bad for your phone or will it affect your phone in anyway

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No, and the opposite is probably true: it can protect you from threats like “malvertising” and save you battery power.

  11. Margie · 2015-05-23 19:10 · #

    I just wanna avoid all those ads!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Well, you’ve come to the right place!

  12. Gaurav Sant · 2015-05-24 09:14 · #

    While using the adblock browser the ads like oneclick ads still popup in new tab taking it to the newly opened tab. How can I avoid those ? They are generally implemented on websites.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    If you mean the type of ads I think you mean, they should definitely be blocked. Best thing to do is report/discuss it in the community:

  13. Curtis Kwong 5 · 2015-06-04 06:27 · #

    Question about the Adblock Browser:
    Are their an version for PC/Mac for it if not I will wait

    Been using the extension/add-on for Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome from 2013. Keep up the awesome work blocking ads :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks! So far no plans to make it available on desktop — there are already lots of browsers where you can use ABP. But maybe something for the future, we’ll see.

    We are developing for iOS though. You can get updates here:

  14. Polly · 2015-06-11 16:04 · #

    I would love to get rid of intrusive ads and use the new ABP Browser, but have no wish to join google plus. Have read the comment above on how to download without joining G+ but cannot find the code.

    Has it disappeared? Been removed?

    Help would be very much appreciated

    Thank you

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Here you go:


  15. P E Rhodes · 2015-06-20 13:44 · #

    I fell that i must book out of questions now it is way beyond me thank you.

  16. Eric · 2015-06-28 17:57 · #

    We need the ability to longpress and add an image/frame to the blocked list.

    On a side note…. How is it that double click ads are not already blocked? I went to a Forbes. Com article and they were all over the place… Caching issue?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    We’re looking into adding manual element blocking, but I can’t give you a date at the moment.

    Regarding the Forbes issue, could you flag it in our forum and provide more details if it’s still happening?

Commenting is closed for this article.