Adblock Plus launches Adblock Browser for Android, wins fight for entry into Google Play Store

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AdBlock Plus has launched Adblock Browser for Android, a mobile web browser with adblocking software built in. The open source app is available now as a beta, and the company is encouraging users to download and test it. Although an iOS version hasn’t launched yet, a version for Apple’s operating system is on its way.

It’s based on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android browser, and although it supports extensions, Adblock Plus decided building its own browser around the framework gave it “a lot more freedom to integrate adblocking as a first class feature that’s easy to understand and configure.”

Adblock Plus was Adblock’s first mobile product, which operates on Android devices.

The beta 1.0 release closely resembles Firefox for Android, and uses the stock user interface, but in the future the company hopes to move beyond this. Additionally, it promises to make the ad and content blocking flexible and simple for all users to control.

However, Adblock Plus has hit two problems it initially said would be impossible to solve. The first is that the browser will only block ads over an unencrypted connection. Maintaining this just to block ads compromises privacy, it stated, something it doesn’t want to encourage.

The second is Google blocked the Adblock Browser from Google Play, stating it “interferes with another service or product.” Without a release inside Google Play, the browser will struggle to gain widespread attention. However, Google has subsequently approved the app for entry as a test app.

If you’re interested in being part of the Adblock Browser for Android beta test, you can sign-up and download the app here.