Google removes Samsung’s first Android ad blocker from the Play Store


Just days after it shot to the top of the Play Store, Android’s newest ad blocker has been removed for violating developer guidelines. Called Adblock Fast, the plug-in from startup Rocketship Apps worked within Samsung’s mobile browser thanks to a partnership with the phone maker, which opened an API this week allowing third-party developers to build content blocking features for the preinstalled Samsung Internet app.

According to Rocketship developer Brian Kennish, Google says Adblock Fast violates section 4.4 of of its Developer Distribution Agreement, which disallows apps or plugins offered through the Play Store from “interfering” or “disrupting” devices, networks, or services of third parties. Google confirmed to The Verge that it did remove Adblock Fast, but would not clarify why the content blocker was removed despite Samsung’s open participation. Kennish provided this message from a representative at Google:

Following Apple’s Move, Samsung Rolls Out Ad Blocking To Android Devices


With the release of iOS 9 last year, Apple introduced support for ad blocking within its Safari web browser. On Sunday, smartphone maker Samsung debuted its own support for content and ad blocking in the default web browser installed on its Android smartphones. The update, which is rolling out now to devices running Android Lollipop or higher, works in a similar way as ad blocking on Apple’s iOS 9.

That is, it allows third-party developers the ability to build apps that that will block distracting and intrusive ads on the mobile web, as well as strip out extra content from web pages, allowing them to load faster and consume less data.

These apps are made possible by way of Samsung’s new Content Blocker extension APIarriving in the latest version of the Samsung Internet Browser. That means Samsung owners will have to be using the company’s own browser, not a third-party browser like Google Chrome, in order to take advantage of the new functionality.