Last year Apple released a major update of its mobile operating system which featured a built-in adblocking API and allowed developers to create adblocking extensions for the Safari browser. Samsung has now done something quite similar. The company has teamed up with Adblock Fast to roll out adblocking to hundreds of millions of its users via an over-the-air update to its web browser.
Adblock Fast is a free and open-source ad blocker that taps into Samsung Internet’s adblocking API. Version 4.0 is being rolled out today though it hasn’t gone live for everybody just yet. Samsung Internet is the default internet browser on most Samsung devices but those who have another Android device can get the browser by downloading it through the Google Play Store. Samsung Internet version 4.0 is only compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop right now but will soon work with Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich as well.
Adblock Fast is only the first extension that takes advantage of the adblocking API that Samsung has built into its web browser so it’s only a matter of time before other similar extensions materialize. The only caveat here is that since this is Samsung’s API don’t expect this to work with other popular web browsers like Google Chrome.
As the name suggests adblocking extensions allow users to block ads and tracking when they’re browsing the internet. Whether using adblocking software is ethically right is a completely different debate. Granted that there are websites that push malicious ads and tracking bots that are best blocked but one must not forget that an overwhelming majority of publishers, bloggers and content creators on the internet rely on ads to earn revenue so that they can keep coming up with more content. When major companies like Samsung and Apple push adblocking APIs in their browsers that hundreds of millions of people use it goes without saying that this tends to irk legitimate publishers who often believe that they are being unfairly penalized. Let us know your point of view on this matter in the comments below.