If you’re in the mobile advertising industry, this is not going to be music for your ears: Adblock Plus, the popular ad-blocking extension for Internet browsers, has been launched for Android. The developers of the app, Eyeo, state that it blocks all advertisements both while using a Web browser and in apps. The Google Play page for the app states that it blocks mobile ads, video advertising, banners, push notifications, display advertising, HTML 5 advertising, etc.
However, the app has a long way to go before it reaches the heights its browser-based cousin has achieved. It has limited functionality depending on which version of Android you’re running and whether your smartphone is rooted or not. On devices that are running a rooted version of Android, all ads will be blocked over both packet data connection and Wi-Fi. On unrooted devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and later, ads will be blocked only on Wi-Fi. If you’re on an older, unrooted version of Android, say Android 2.3 Gingerbread, you’ll have to manually configure and set up a proxy for the app to work properly. Find a tutorial on how to do that here.
Say goodbye to ads with Adblock Plus for Android
We downloaded the app onto an unrooted device running Ice Cream Sandwich and the app managed to block ads when on Wi-Fi within some apps and games, such as Angry Birds, and within the stock browser with which we browsed a couple of ad-laden websites. As advertised, no ads were blocked when we used 3G to connect to the Internet. On a rooted device, ads were blocked when connected to the Internet via 3G or Wi-Fi.
However, when you run the app, you get an annoying notification bar icon that just won’t go away, as the app gives you no option to turn it off The FAQ page of the Adbock Plus site states that there’s no option to turn off the icon, because if it is done away with, Android will kill the process; the app needs to be continuously running in the background to block ads.
It’s also stated that the app will filter all the data transfer on your phone to block ads, and hence will show quite high data usage. “To filter ads, all traffic has to pass through Adblock Plus. Android considers this to be the traffic caused by the app, while it is in reality the sum of all traffic,” the app’s FAQ page clarifies.
Adblock Plus is by far one of the most-downloaded extensions for blocking advertisements. Its page on the Mozilla Firefox add-ons site states that the extension has been downloaded more than 180 million times, and has an average of 15 million daily users. On an average, downloads of the extension cross the one lakh mark every day.