The makers of Adblock Plus offer web browser plugins that let you surf the web without encountering ads… or at least without seeing ads that have been deemed “acceptable” if you choose not to disable that feature.
There are Adblock Plus plugins for a range of browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and for Android devices. But now there’s another option: the developers have designed an Adblock Browser for Android — no plugins required.
Adblock Browser is basically a customized version of Mozilla’s open source Firefox web browser. You could also just download Firefox for Android and install an Adblock plugin, but the developers say their browser features tighter integration with the browser which gives them more control over how Adblock works on a mobile device.
That’s one reason Adblock Plus is launching its own browser. Another is that the aforementioned Adblock Plus for Android app never supported encrypted connections and got booted from the Google Play Store for interfering with the performance of other apps (browsers). Theoretically a standalone browser avoids the second problem and gives the developers the ability to tackle the first.
Right now the Adblock Browser is in beta. You can join the beta community on Google Plus to get more information and a download link.
It’s worth noting that if ad blockers become too common, it could dramatically affect the economics of the internet. Right now many websites (including this one) make most of their revenue through advertising. If everyone used ad-blocking software, we’d have to find other revenue streams, close up shop, or treat our work as a hobby rather than a profession.
But at least apps like the Adblock Browser are optional: Users get to decide whether to install and use them, not wireless carriers.
It’s also worth noting that you can add sites you want to support to a whitelist so that Adblock Browser will display ads on those sites. Just uncheck the box that says “Block Ads on this Site.”