Microsoft is testing an video ad-blocker in Edge for Android
Microsoft implemented a new feature in the company's Edge Canary browser for Android. Called Edge Block Video Ads, its purpose is to block video advertisement on sites such as YouTube. The experimental feature complements the mobile browser's built-in content blocker.
Microsoft Edge for Android has not seen as much of a rise as the desktop version of Edge. In fact, there are not many statistics available when it comes to Edge on Android.
Google's Play Store reveals that Edge was downloaded more than 1o million times, but the figure pales when compared to the more than 100 million downloads of Firefox, Brave, or Opera, and Chrome's more than 10 Billion downloads. The few companies that track stats online do not have any information about Edge for Android either.
Content blocking in Edge for Android
Edge for Android has a built-in content blocker, but it is not enabled by default. Users need to open Settings > Privacy and Security > Block Ads to enable it. The content blocker is powered by Adblock Plus and will allow acceptable ads by default. Edge users may turn off the functionality though.
The blocker blocks the majority of ads, but not necessarily video ads. The new experimental option to block video ads complements it.
Here is how it is enabled currently:
- Load edge://flags in the address bar of the web browser.
- Search for "video".
- Locate the "Edge Block Video Ads" experiment on the results page.
- Set it to Enabled.
- Restart Microsoft Edge for Android.
The new video ad blocking functionality works Edge-wide. Microsoft makes no mention of the sites that it supports. It worked on YouTube during tests, but may work on other sites as well that play video ads.
Experimental features may land in the final stable version of Edge eventually, but they may also be removed without any notice.
Ads on YouTube especially have become a nuisance for many Internet users, as Google increased the number of ads that YouTube users see noticeably over the past years. Now, users may see ads before, in-between and after videos on the site.
Considering that regular ad blocking is not enabled by default in Edge for Android, it seems likely the video ad blocking will also not be enabled by default, if it should become a feature of the stable version.
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