Adblock Plus is a popular ad-blocking extension that is available for various web browsers. According to Eyeo GMBH, the company behind it, it has been downloaded more than 300 million times.
A beta version of the Adblock Browser for Android was released by the company earlier today. Beta means that you cannot just head over to Google Play to install the browser but need to join the Adblock Browser community page on Google Plus first before that option becomes available.
It may take an hour or two before the download link becomes available after you join the beta.
The web browser itself is based on Firefox for Android. If you have used Firefox before on the mobile operating system you may know that it supports extensions just like the desktop version, and this includes Adblock Plus which you can install in the browser.
The decision to create a custom version of Firefox was made to gain more control over how that integration looks like.
According to Eyeo GMBH, being limited in regards to the integration of Adblock Plus in the browser's user interface was one of the core reasons for creating a standalone browser.
At its core though it is Firefox for Android with Adblock Plus installed, and if you are already using that combination, you have no reason currently to migrate to the Adblock browser instead.
You may also wonder how this differs from Adblock Plus for Android. The core differences are that the application is no longer available on Google Play, and that it only blocks ads over HTTP. The browser does away with both limitations.
It remains to be seen how the project evolves in the future. The past has shown that browser forks sometimes cannot keep up with the development pace of the original browser which led to situations where updates were delivered weeks or even months after they were released by the company or organization responsible for the original browser.
That's problematic on several levels, for instance when security patches were released as not updating the browser leaves the fork vulnerable to those.
The mobile browser itself looks and feels like Firefox for Android. There are only a few indicators that this is a fork and not the real deal.
You find a "block ads no this site" toggle option in the menu which allows you to enable ads on sites quickly if you want to support it (or see the ads).
You find an "adblocking" option in the settings which you use to configure the "acceptable ads" behavior and to manage filter subscriptions.
If you compare the implementation to Firefox for Android with the Adblock Plus add-on installed, you won't find many differences. The core difference right now is the advertisement toggle in the menu, and that you control subscriptions and acceptable ads in the add-on options and not in the browser's preferences.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.