Eyeo GmbH, the company behind the widely used adblocking browser extension Adblock Plus, released Adblock Plus 3.4 today.
Adblock Plus 3.4 features a number of changes, most notable a promised reduction of the extension's memory use by 50%. The new version includes changes to the user interface as well.
Existing users should receive the update to the new version automatically in Firefox, Chrome and Opera; those who prefer to download updates manually can do so from the browser's extensions store on the Internet or by visiting the Adblock Plus download page.
The new version of the extension is available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera currently and not other supported browsers such as Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer.
The user interface has changed quite a bit in Adblock Plus. The extension icon highlights the number of blocked ads on the activate site. Existing users may notice that the frontend interface has changed significantly in the new version of the extension.
The extension displays a toggle in the new version that you may activate to enable or disable ad blocking on the site. It highlights the number of blocked items and the total number of items on the page, and lists options to block elements or report issues.
Several elements of previous versions of Adblock Plus have been removed. The social media icons are gone and so is the number of ads blocked in total.
The blocking functionality that is accessible on the frontend has not changed functionality-wise. Adblock Plus never offered the same level of depth that extensions such as uBlock Origin or NoScript offered; it is for instance not possible to get information about the content that was blocked on the site.
The options page looks identical, nothing appears to have changed on the page.
Eyeo GMBH claims that Adblock Plus 3.4 uses 50% less memory than previous versions of the extension. The release notes of the Firefox version of the extension state the following:
Reduced the initial memory footprint by ~16%, base memory usage by ~28%, and memory used per frame by ~660 KB.
Users of the extension should notice a reduction in memory usage when they use Adblock Plus 3.4 but it seems likely that the experience will be somewhat different considering that it depends on several factors such as the number of frames opened in the browser.
A quick, unscientific test in the latest Chrome Stable version, showed that Adblock Plus does use more memory than uBlock Origin even if the latest version is installed. I installed both extensions and started Chrome to see how much they would use with just one page open. It is possible that there are incompatibilities or issues that distort the result.
Adblock Plus using less memory than before is definitely a welcome change. Let us know in the comments if you are a user of the extension and noticed an improvement in the memory use of the extension.
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