Android users rejoiced too soon about Samsung’s updated Internet browser that allowed ad-blocking plugins. Seeing how difficult it is to get those on Android devices, the update was hailed by Samsung loyalists around the world.
However, Google wasn’t really keen of this solution, and Adblock Fast was dropped from Google Play store only a few days later. Adblock Fast is a third-party ad blocker that was compatible with the new Samsung Internet for Android browser.
The ad-blocker had a short – but profitable – lifespan in the Play Store. In the few days it spent there, the Adblock Fast app popularity went through the roof, with more than 50,000 downloads. It had reached the top of the Play Store charts right before Google booted it from its app store.
Rocketship Apps, the creators of Adblock Fast, came forward with a rather dubious email from the Google Play Review Team, which explained that Adblock Fast had been removed due to some policy violations in the Developer Distribution Agreement.
According to the section 4.4 of the DDA (under Prohibited Actions), Adblock Fast had violated the policy that says the Play Store will not “accept apps that interfere with other services.”
Here is a fragment of the text: “You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Store, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party.”
In a surprising turn of events, a similar plugin from Adblock Plus – which also works with the Samsung Internet browser – is still available in the Play Store. Some speculate that Adblock Plus hasn’t made it on Google’s radar yet because it hasn’t gained the same traction Adblock Fast had.
Considering that a great deal of Google’s revenue comes from the advertising business, it somehow makes sense that the search giant would want to stop this kind of efforts in their tracks. And even though this action against Adblock Fast looks like Google is hunting down ad blockers, the reality might be different.
At a closer look, Google might actually take issue with the way that the goal is accomplished. In the end, the Android maker might not can a browser that can natively block ads.
How will this feud between Samsung and Google resolve? Samsung has a simple solution at hand: simply listing its own browser into Google’s Play Store and have Adblock Fast built-in by default.
Image Source: Tech Crunch