Samsung’s attempts to get ad blocking onto its pre-installed web browser have hit some slight difficulties after Google pulled its largest partner from the Play Store. This was supposedly because the app, known as Adblock Fast, violates the Developer Distribution Agreement; although Google has suspiciously left other ad blocking apps untouched.
The South Korean company had originally announced that it is has added support for ad blocking to its web browser; the browser doesn’t actually have built into blocking capabilities, but instead relies on third party apps to get the job done. Adblock Fast was Samsung’s launch partner, and quickly garnered some 50,000 downloads before it vanished from the Play Store.
Rocketship Apps, the developer behind Adblock Fast, claims that it received an email from Google explaining that its app violated section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement. The section in question prevents apps from interfering with the function of other apps. It looks like Google is claiming that the blocking of ads disrupts how a web browser works, and is technically true. However, Adblock Fast is using an API supplied by Samsung itself; which means that the section shouldn’t apply in this case.
The real reason for the motive behind the removal is as of yet uncertain. Several other competing ad blockers that function using the same API are still available on Google Play, but that could simply be because the company has not spotted them yet. On the other hand, Google itself lives off ad revenue and it is in its best interest to keep ad blockers off its platform.
In either case, Google’s next move should be very interesting to see. Samsung has already pushing out the new browser and API with its Android 6.0 update; and has already declared its intention to get it working on Android 5.0 as well. Where this goes from here will probably give us an idea of what Google thinks of ad blockers on Android.
[Source: The Next Web]