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AdBlock Reveals Browser For Android Smartphones

AdBlock Plus

An advert-hiding web browser for Android smartphones has been developed by the company behind AdBlock Plus.

Eyeo said it was moved to create the AdBlock Browser after Google dropped AdBlock for Android from its app store in 2013.

At the time, Google said the software broke its rules for developers by “interfering” with other apps.

Eyeo is hoping to work around the restriction by limiting the ad-blocking function to a web browser.

Ben Williams, a spokesman for the company, Said  “We were kicked out of the Google Play store in 2013. This has a better chance of being accepted.”

AdBlock Plus started life as a plug-in for desktop web browsers, and Eyeo said variations had been downloaded more than 400 million times.

The company said its mission was to “purge bad ads”, but it has faced criticism for allowing advertisers to bypass the block for a fee.

“There are over 400 entities on the white list and 90% of them don’t pay,” explained Mr Williams. “All of them abide by the same criteria and users can switch off all ads in a few clicks.”

AdBlock Plus video showing pop up adverts on a web page

The developers are still waiting to see whether the browser is accepted by the app store. Vetting submissions sometimes takes a few days.

Google told the BBC that it had no comment on the app, but pointed out many web services relied on funding from ads.

“Google and other web companies invest heavily in developing these services – and in the behind-the-scenes infrastructure to deliver them,” a spokeswoman said.

Eyeo said it would continue to let users download its Android browser from its website, if Google rejected the app.

“We learned by experience this time,” said Mr Williams, “We have a back-up plan.”

The team is already pressing ahead with work on the next version of the browser, and a version for Apple’s iOS.

“The browser is our first step into the mobile space that we can be confident should be a success,” said Mr Williams.

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