Samsung follows Apple’s lead, updates its Android browser with ad blocking

After a one week hiatus, Google reinstates Adblock Fast to the Play Store

Samsung Galaxy S6
Maurizio Pesce
Jealous of iPhone users who don’t have to look at ads when browsing the Web? Well envy them no more because Samsung has updated its Android browser app — which has the catchy name “Internet” — giving it the ability to block ads as well.

The new feature doesn’t automatically block ads however. Users will need to install an ad blocker app from Google Play. Adblock Fast and Crystal are the first two compatible apps. AdBlock Fast is already available on iOS and desktop versions of Chrome and Opera. It has over 200,000 users and is free to install. Crystal is also available on iOS.

Updated on 02-09-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that Adblock Fast is back in Google Play.

Rocketship, the company behind the app that partnered with Samsung, immediately appealed Google’s decision to pull Adblock Fast from the Play Store with positive results.

Google sent the developer the following response in an email on Friday, February 5: “We’ve accepted your appeal and your app has been reinstated. For the app to appear on the Play Store, you’ll need to sign into your Developer Console and submit your app again.”

Adblock Fast was officially back in Google Play as of Tuesday, February 9, and you can download it here. Rocketship also updated the app to version 1.1.0, extending support to version 4.0 of Samsung’s Internet app.

Shortly after Samsung launched ad blocking capabilities to its browser, Rocketship confirmed with Digital Trends that Google removed its app from the Play Store on February 2.

Adblock Fast’s website has even been updated to say, “Find out when Adblock Fast is back in Google Play!”

Rocketship developer Brian Kennish says the company has yet to hear “anything from a human being at Google.” The startup forwarded emails sent by the search giant that essentially said the app violates section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

Section 4.4 states that developers cannot “engage in any activity with the Store, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses” other third party developers and users.

The email did say if the developer believes the rejection is in the wrong, that a representative will get back in touch within two business days. The company received another email that offered the same information on why the app was rejected.

We have reached out to Google, and will update when they respond. It seems as though Crystal and Adblock Plus, which just went live, are still available content blockers for Samsung Internet, so it’s unclear why Adblock Fast was singled out in this rejection.

Adblock Fast

One of the biggest reasons to use ad-blocking software is speed. For example, using the Adblock Fast app along with the Samsung Internet app decreases load times on Android by about 51 percent. The other big advantage is that less data is consumed, which extends those data caps.

Unfortunately, ad blocking support is only compatible with Android Marshmallow, which means that only a handful of Samsung users can enjoy it. Samsung does plan on adding it to Lollipop devices in the coming months though.

It’s unclear how popular ad blocking is with consumers. Ad blocking apps were ranked highly when Apple first introduced that functionality with iOS, but the ranking for them has since dropped. And mainstream consumers aren’t jumping on board just yet.

It’s important to point out that ad blocking is only allowed with the Samsung Internet app, not with Google’s Chrome browser, which also comes pre-installed on Samsung phones. The Chrome browser doesn’t support ad blocking, and it probably won’t for sometime. Ad revenues play a significant role in Google’s profitability, but do not for Samsung and Apple.

Android users who don’t have a Samsung device will soon have the ability to use the Brave browser, which was created by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. It’s a browser with built-in ad blocking capabilities, but it will support publishers. The app is now in beta testing for both Android and iOS.

Previous updates:

Updated on 02-03-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Adblock Fast has been taken down from Google Play.


The Loupedeck Plus custom keyboard will make you feel like a pro video editor

With recently added support for Final Cut Pro X, the Loupedeck Plus improves speed and accuracy for video editors. With a collection of customizable buttons and dials, the Loupedeck can almost completely replace a mouse and keyboard setup.

Pick up Sony’s best noise-canceling headphones from Drop on the cheap

Commuting has to be about the worst thing ever. Fortunately, the hustle and bustle can all be blocked out with a good set of wireless noise-canceling headphones — and there are none better than the Sony WH-1000XM3, which are now on sale.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Social Media

Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook when you've had a change of heart

Maybe you were a little too hasty blocking that one person on Facebook ... or maybe you just want to do a little spying to see what they're up to. Either way, you can fix the situation easily. Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook.

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.

American Airlines expands its fast in-flight Wi-Fi, but it will still cost you

American Airlines has completed the installation of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi for the whole of its mainline narrowbody fleet comprising more than 700 planes, mainly on its domestic routes. But the service still costs.

Global Honor 20 launch marred by fear, as Huawei gets squeezed by U.S. ban

The launch of the Honor 20 series may be the first new device range to be seriously hit by Huawei’s presence on the Entity List. Huawei executives reportedly fear sales will be poor, which may force it to cut off shipments.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro render shows 2019 really is all about weird camera arrays

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.

How to turn on Now Playing and see music history on your Google Pixel

The new Now Playing feature is perfect for if you often hear songs you like but don't know the name of. The feature essentially shows songs playing around you on the Pixel lock screen. Here's how to turn on Now Playing on your Pixel.

Mastercard’s new card lets LGBTQIA+ customers use their true name

According to Mastercard, a major source of anxiety for those in the LGBTQIA+ community could be that their credit or debit card doesn't show their true name. The company aims to solve that issue with the new True Name card.

Apple will bring 5G to the iPhone in 2020, according to analyst

We're still many months away from the launch of a 2019 iPhone, so do we know anything at all about the 2020 iPhone? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the rumors are picking up the pace.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Apple's iOS 13 Beta 2 is available to developers -- here are the changes

Apple announced iOS 13 during the keynote presentation at its 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference. This is the next version of its mobile operating system, which will come to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod near you soon.
Social Media

Maybe you missed something, so here's how to take another look at that Snap

The people you follow on Snapchat are important to you. If you get frustrated when you're trying to look at a friend's Snap or Story and it disappears, here's how to replay a Snapchat message or post.