Apparently, Google has decided to change its mind regarding ad blocking mobile apps on its Google Play store. Not a week ago, the tech giant had begun taking out ad blockers from Google Play, including titles such as Adblock Fast. For some apps that did not get banned, Google declined their updates, like what happened to Crystal. But after an appeal was made by Rocketship, the creators of the Adblock Fast, Google appears to have lifted the ban.
This latest development seems to suggest that Google may have just had a simple change of heart, but there is actually more to that. Reports are surfacing that the tech giant had plans to only have support for mobile web browsers that have ad blocking capabilities, including those that feature built in ad blocker features (such as the Adblock Plus web browser) and also those with support for ad blocker extensions, e.g. Firefox. But then the company decided that under its new guidelines, it could not permit ad blocking mobile apps that are distributed by way of Android package kits (APKs), of which Adblock Fast and Crystal are examples. These types of ad blocking software came when Samsungdebuted support for ad blocking within its own mobile web browser (the Samsung Internet Browser) earlier this month. In its browser, Samsung offered a new Content Blocker application program interface (API), which basically lets third party developers create mobile apps that allow the Samsung Internet Browser to block ads and other types of content, like trackers for example, which make web pages download slowly when viewed on mobile devices.
For Rocketship, apart from its ad blocking mobile app getting reinstated in the Google Play store, the company was also able to update its Adblock Fast app to version 1.1.0, meaning that it now expands its support up to Android 4.0. At the time Adblock Fast was removed from Google Play, it has already developed some following. As a matter of fact, it became the number one free app in the Productivity category, already racking up around 50,000 installs. Having suffered from the ban, it may have lost some momentum in the process. As for Crystal, Google has also allowed the company to update its own ad blocking mobile app. Adblock Plus maintains to this day that its attention has never been called by Google, especially with regards to the ban on ad blocking apps.
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