It’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by ads on your smartphone, whether in apps or just on the mobile web. So it’s little surprise that when a company announces a new way to give users control over just how they’re exposed to those ads, we’re quick to take advantage of it. That’s just what happened a few days back as Samsung opened up its Android browser’s API to work with ad-blocking software, and devs were in a rush to deliver solutions ready to start nipping all those ads in the bud. Unfortunately for fans of this development, Google’s wasted no time in shutting the operation down, killing the Adblock Fast plugin.
Rocketship App’s Adblock Fast was the first ad-blocker to announce compatibility with Samsung’s browser, and though that helped it find some quick popularity, it also managed to catch Google’s eye. Google contacted the dev team to inform them that Adblock Fast was in violation of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement, which prohibits interfering with third-party services.
Right now, it’s not exactly clear what approach Google’s taking to the new Samsung browser ad-blockers as a group, as apps from other devs are still available on the Play Store. When pressed for comment, Google hasn’t offered a straightforward explanation for its inconsistent actions, only explaining that its “policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers.”
Will the rest of the Samsung browser ad-blockers succumb to the same fate as Adblock Fast? Is there something special about the way others are operating that keeps them safe from Google’s wrath? We don’t have those answers just yet, but you had better believe that this story is far from over.