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Samsung-approved ad blocker gets canned from the Google Play Store

Posted: , by Mihai A.

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Samsung-approved ad blocker gets canned from the Google Play Store
Last week, Samsung updated its Internet browser to support third-party ad-blocking plugins. Many Samsung loyalists hailed the introduction of a proper ad-blocking solution, especially given that those are hard to get on Android, but it turns out that Google doesn't approve of this solution.

Adblock Fast, a third-party ad blocker that works with the new Samsung Internet for Android browser, was recently canned by Google from the Play Store. In a few short days since Samsung's browser started supporting Adblock Fast, the app skyrocketed to the top of the Play Store charts, topping more than 50,000 downloads before being booted from Google's app store.

Rocketship Apps, the developers behind AdBlock Fast, say that they've received a rather abstract email from the Google Play Review Team, one that informed them that Adblock Fast was removed from the Play Store because it violates section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement. This section of the DDA specifically mentions that the Play Store will not accept apps that interfere with other services. Here's the text in full:

4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Store, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Store to sell or distribute Products outside of the Store.


Interestingly, a similar plugin from Adblock Plus - which is also compatible with the Samsung Internet browser - is still available from the Play Store despite showcasing the same functionality and methods of delivery as the Adblock Fast plugin. Speaking with TNW, a dev from Rocketship Apps suggested that Google did not target the Adblock Plus plugin as the latter was not as popular among Play Store users and has yet to show up on Android marker's radar.  

At first, it may seem like Google is hunting down ad blockers, as these represent a threat to Google's main ad-delivery business. At a closer look, however, it looks like Google takes issue with the way that the goal is accomplished. In essence, chances are that the Android maker will not hunt down a browser that can natively block ads. We're keeping an eye on the matter and we'll get back to you as soon as more info surfaces.

source: The Next Web

31 Comments
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posted on 04 Feb 2016, 04:44 21

1. shaineql (Posts: 357; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


They can just put it in Galaxy Store

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:03 14

2. Shocky (unregistered)


Yep, simple as that.

That's the benefit of having your own app store.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:22

21. zeeBomb (Posts: 2098; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Screw that. Time to put it on a website or the amazon fireplace or something...tell me if anyone has found a download

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:28

22. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


i want samsungs browser to natively block all ads i hate with passion. screen loads and then it shifts down as you press for something else now you hit the ad.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:34 3

23. AkoSiKuting (banned) (Posts: 88; Member since: 09 Dec 2015)


it show the true color of google :)

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 19:54

31. Obie-Wan (Posts: 86; Member since: 24 May 2012)


What do u expect ?, ads is one of their bussiness too.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:06 11

3. vincelongman (Posts: 4445; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


So Google will allow browsers with built-in ad blocking
But not these plug-in ad blockers?
Pretty dumb IMO

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:53 3

6. Shocky (unregistered)


Use firefox, they already have a plugin store for android with an adblocker available.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 08:16

17. xondk (Posts: 1410; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


I understand why they do this, their economy are based around ads, though personally I feel that if they made significantly hits on ad guidelines, e.g. disallow obnoxious ads, there would be far far far less people using ad-block.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:24 6

4. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


We need a proper solution for this. Websites needs ads to sustain themselves. But ads in current form is too obstructive and painful for users. The whole Internet consurtium should come us with a better method to provide a method to show ads which doesn't force users to use adblockers. You can have ads splattered all across the web page, middle of articles etc.,
Some suggesations:

1. Show a spash screen for 3-5 seconds while laoding web page.
2. mark specific area on web page, no more than 10% of total area dedicated for ads.
3. No ads in middle of articles.
4. No pop-ups.

I think we need a proper analysis of this situation. I want to support websites, but if I face such intrusive ads, I am not going to do it.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:46

5. Shocky (unregistered)


If I get any intrusive popups, especially the kind that re-direct me to dodgy sites I block them, we need this option.

Even on sites I don't block it's horrible reading a tiny article surrounded by random ads all over my screen.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:58 2

8. Moose (Posts: 248; Member since: 05 Jan 2015)


Good points, I agree, it isn't ads in themselves that we want to block, it is the fact that they are presented in such annoying, intrusive ways. Discreet ads within a webpage are not annoying. OK, maybe they are not as attention grabbing either but better than being blocked out altogether.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 08:55

18. mrochester (Posts: 549; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


Would that make enough money for websites?

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:11 1

20. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


I do not care. The Internet has made the dissemination of information dirt cheap. Whatever a website shows, is found in umpteen of other websites. Phonearena is an example of a site that merely disseminates information from other sources, much like dozens of other similar websites, creating little to no new information on its own. Yet, Phonearena is unbearable to browse without an ad blocker. Since this website creates barely new information, what could so many ads fund? Certainly nothing worthy of my eyeballs.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 13:10

27. mrochester (Posts: 549; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


There has to be a sustainable way to operate sites on the Internet. When suggesting how advertising and the way it's displayed should operate, you need to bare in mind that people operating sites need to be able to make enough money for it to be sustainable, or make a living. Alternatively, people need to be prepared to operate websites as side hobbies with income from work elsewhere.

Certainly, there's no need for multiple sites to rebroadcast the same news over and over. We only need the news once.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:07

19. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


No, just no splash screens!

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 05:56 1

7. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3017; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Hahaha, wonder if the policy will soon change to disallow apps like AdBlock Browser, which I frequently use to visit iPhonearena...regardless what they do, the beauty of Android is third-party app stores prevent dictatorship from ever ruling the user's experience. Screw that sh*t, my device is my device.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 06:09 1

9. bucky (Posts: 2582; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Tough position here. Samsung is kinda biting the hand that feeds them.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 06:23 3

10. Shocky (unregistered)


What? I think you're a little confused, who is feeding who exactly? Samsung the largest Phone seller in the world which generates profits for Google through ads, information gathered from users and use of the Play Store, or Google.

Personally I don't think Google will do anything more than block the apps on the Play Store.

However, if they do persist with this Sasmung will drop Android and Google will regret it. Samsung does not need Android.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 06:53 2

11. Commentator (Posts: 3692; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


So millions of people around the world would just switch to Tizen at the drop of a hat, no questions asked? That's some brand loyalty right there.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 07:28 3

12. Shocky (unregistered)


Of course they would, the majority of users don't give a crap about Android, many don't even know what it is or who makes it.

Samsung would take a hit from enthusiasts like us who may stick with Android but it would only be temporary, so long as they push developers to support them.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 07:41

14. Shocky (unregistered)


BTW, I'd prefer they went with Windows

Windows could use the developer support which would follow them. :D

Tizen would work okay, they could make it look like Android pretty much, many users probably wouldn't even notice the change.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 09:42 1

24. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


That's just stupid. No one even cares what OS their phone is running. In fact I could grab over 1M people on each platform and ask them the name of the OS on their phone and they wont even know. That is fact.

As long as they have access to apps/games/media/internet and the phone works the same, they wouldnt know any difference.

if you think otherwise, than you as clueless as a doorknob

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 07:35 2

13. JMartin22 (Posts: 1969; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


If Samsung can give users quintessential things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and ubiquitous time killing mobile gaming apps like Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds and so on; then the majority of users wouldn't care of it was Tizen or Android.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 07:42

15. Shocky (unregistered)


Yep, with the massive number of phones Samsung sell the developers will support them.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 08:09 9

16. catze86 (Posts: 726; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


Google aproove ads about a woman who want to suck my c**k 1 mile away from my home than any useful apps.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 10:30 2

25. BLSEOTB (Posts: 332; Member since: 24 Mar 2015)


The worst is the pop ups that say a virus is detected on your phone and vibrates your device.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 14:18

29. miket1737 (Posts: 2548; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


i have honestly never experienced the vibration before from that ever, from any pop up, that is strange and terrible that it vibrates wow lol , been using a ad blocker with my rooted 6p and it works fantastically

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 10:32

26. JunitoNH (Posts: 1802; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


People forget Goolge is a search and Ads giant, is how they make their money; is like asking doctors not to dispense anymore Rx, no surprise there.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 14:18 1

28. darealist (Posts: 107; Member since: 25 Feb 2015)


Dis is why I want a Surface Phone with a fully fledged ad blocker. Smart phones are merely web surfers foremost anyways.

posted on 04 Feb 2016, 19:07

30. Zylam (Posts: 764; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)


Apple allows blockers, Google showing its true colours, they reworte the way Android handles it's network protocols in Android 4.4 just so adblock wouldn't be able to work the way it did without root, and now blocking plug-ins on the largest Android Oem doesn't surprise me one bit.

Google, Ms, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, none of these companies are better then one another. They either just as great or equally worse, yet the fanboi wars continue each day.

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