Apple had already done it last year with the roll out of its iOS 9 mobile operating system, launching support for ad blocking within its Safari web browser. This year, it is Samsung’s turn to introduce content and ad blocking within the default web browser installed on its Android powered devices. The update is currently already deploying to handsets that run Android 5.0 Lollipop (or newer), and functions similarly to Apple’s.
For those not familiar with the concept, ad blocking support basically lets third party developers to create mobile apps that will prevent ads from appearing while browsing via mobile devices. The content blocking part gives developers the ability to do away with extra content on web pages, thereby letting them load faster on smartphone display screens.
All of these are made possible by way of Samsung’s new Content Blocker extension application program interface (API), which came with the most recent edition of the Samsung Internet Browser. Of course, this would mean that in order to enjoy ad blocking privileges, owners of Samsung handsets will have to use the South Korean tech giant’s own web browser, and not other familiar browsers like Google’s Chrome, for instance.
For those who are primarily Chrome users, they will not have to worry about getting the Samsung Internet Browser. The feature is actually preinstalled on Samsung handsets. As for those who do not have the browser installed in their devices, know that it has already racked up more than 10 million downloads from the Google Play store, so it is not like nobody is using it. By launching support for content and ad blocking, Samsung now has the distinction of being the first Android phone maker to introduce ad blocking capabilities.
More and more people are surfing the Internet by way of their mobile devices these days. But ads and unnecessary content often mar the experience of browsing the web through smartphones. Not only do mobile users have to deal with unwanted ads, they would to suffer too because of slower loading of pages because of commercials and other content.
The good news is that something is already being done about it. Apart from content and ad blocking support (like what Apple and Samsung are doing), other efforts include encouraging the construction of more mobile friendly websites (like what Google’s AMP Project is aiming for) and features that allow articles to load faster (like what social media giant Facebook is doing with its Instant Articles feature).
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