Microsoft debuts ad-blocker in Edge for Android
The most recent version of Microsoft Edge for Android includes built-in ad-blocking functionality that users of the web browser may enable.
Microsoft released Microsoft Edge, a new web browser for Windows 10 when it released the first version of Windows 10 to the public.
Edge did not support extensions by default but launched support for extensions in 2016. While Microsoft Edge does support extensions, the overall count of extensions available for the browser is quite low.
Microsoft revealed that it planned to release mobile versions of Edge for Android or iOS in 2015 but it took the company more than two years to release the first preview version for mobiles. The mobile version did not support extensions when it was released and it does not support extensions up to this day.
Edge for Android with Content Blockers
Android users who run Microsoft Edge on their devices as a browser or the browser may have noticed a new content blocking feature in the browser recently.
The new feature is not showcased in any way by Microsoft after the update and users need to visit the Settings to find it. There users find the new Content blockers section to enable and manage the ad-blocking functionality of the browser.
Microsoft did integrate Adblock Plus into Edge natively as the content blocker in the most recent version of the mobile browser.
You can enable the content blocker in the following way:
- Tap on the three dots in the Microsoft Edge interface to display the menu.
- Select Settings from the menu.
- Scroll down to content blockers and tap on the option.
- Edge displays only Adblock Plus as an option right now. You can toggle it on right there to enable it.
Once you have enabled Adblock Plus in Edge, advanced options are listed to configure the content blocker. The available options are limited to managing a whitelist and disabling acceptable ads.
The full Adblock Plus extension offers more functionality than that such as options to load additional lists to block other types of content automatically.
The implementation of Adblock Plus in Microsoft Edge mobile blocks advertisement automatically. The feature gives it an edge over Chrome which does not block ads (other than those ads that get blocked because they are flagged for abusive ad experiences) or support extension. Firefox and other mobile browsers do support extensions or come with content blocking options included.
Microsoft's implementation leaves room for improvement and speculation. Since the option in the menu is called content blockers, it is quite possible that Microsoft plans to add other content blocking solutions to Microsoft Edge that users could enable.
The Adblock Plus solution is quite basic at this point in time as it gives you only two options (whitelist and disable acceptable ads) and it would be useful if Microsoft would improve the implementation in future versions of the browser.
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