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Adblock Plus Launches Adblock Browser: a Fork of Firefox For Android 111

An anonymous reader writes: Adblock Plus has launched Adblock Browser for Android. Currently in beta, the company's first browser was created by taking the open source Firefox for Android and including Adblock Plus out-of-the-box. The Firefox Sync functionality is disabled, as is the ability to use other addons. "Adblock Plus for Android got kicked out of Google Play along with other ad blocking apps in March 2013, because Google’s developer distribution agreement states apps cannot interfere with the functionality of other apps. Williams thus believes Adblock Browser “should be fine” as it only blocks ads that are shown as you browse the Web."
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Adblock Plus Launches Adblock Browser: a Fork of Firefox For Android

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  • I'd love to have a browser that blocks ads, but I wonder if it's going to be a resource hog. I used to use Chrome, but had to ditch it because it would end up consuming 300 - 400 MB on my 4 GB phone (2 GB usable space). Now I use CM Browser and have never looked back. Fast, low resource utilization, and still very featureful.

    How is the Android Firefox browser on resources?

    • Re:Resource Hog? (Score:5, Informative)

      by robmv ( 855035 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @01:45PM (#49737751)

      I use Firefox for Android on a daily basis and on a modern phone it runs fine, better that Chrome IMHO. Tried to use Adblock for a few days and it was insufferable. They will need to implement a better way to interact with Firefox code so it doesn't becomes a resource hog with thousands of regular expressions on memory. If they will ship the same extension, I don't see any advantage.

      • Re:Resource Hog? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Skuto ( 171945 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @01:56PM (#49737883) Homepage

        The ironic thing is that there's a much better AdBlocking plugin for Firefox for Android: uBlock. It's much lighter on resources than AdBlock. You're better off installing the real Firefox and uBlock than this thing.

        • by suutar ( 1860506 )

          the only ublock I see on the play store is for phone calls. Did the plugin get removed in the same sweep as adblock, maybe?

        • Agreed. I came here to ask where I can put a nickel into the pot for getting a uBlockBrowser App.

          Also, yes, lo! To all ye nerds who have not yet heard The Gospel, listen here! uBlock is the new AdBlock Plus because ABP sold out several years ago and, additionally, is implemented poorly. The new prophet is uBlock. Also, use Ghostery. Together, uBlock and Ghostery do what I want blockers to do, good luck with yourselves.

          • I'm using Adblock Plus and Disconnect but I'll check uBlock out then.

            • If you care enough, you might want to check your memory and CPU usage before and after switching. I did so and my experience was consistent with claims that uBlock really uses a tiny fraction of the resources as ABP. Good luck!

              Also don't ignore my tip for Ghostery. That really is great, it is mostly for blocking inter-site trackers. I like it because it gives you a popup on every page showing what it's blocked. It gives me a warm feeling.

          • I tried to use uBlock but found it more difficult to use than AdBlock or Adblock Plus. The problem is that I'll go into a site with all sites disabled and nothing gets displayed. So I'll have to enable sites one at a time to find out which one enables the display of the site. With ABP or AB it's a quick run through the listed sites to temporarily enable sites one at a time until the web site is properly displayed. That was much more difficult with uBlock.
        • uBlock isn't available for the _Android_ version, which is the problem. I use it on the desktop; I'd love to use it on Android as well.

          • by kad77 ( 805601 )

            I've had uBlock (now the Origin build) installed on FF Android (fennec) for a couple months now. Install a current build from the Github page.

      • Firefox is amazingly slow on my phone. I stopped using it, it's pointless to even try. I will walk from the lunch breakroom back to my desk in order to look stuff up on the web in order to save time.

    • The ADS are the resource hogs! I am highly suspicious that this is the reason why there is no decent browser for my android, it's painfully slow even though the same wifi is fast and responsive on a real computer. Alternately it could be JavaScript since there's also no NoScript add-on, but I don't even know if JavaScript can run on smartphones... I'd really like to just get a dumb phone again, there's nothing at all smart or useful about the new phones unless you like to do twitter or facebook.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...so, it's a less useful version of Firefox???

  • pointless (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @01:24PM (#49737467)

    Pointless. Firefox for Android with ABP extension installed....is that not the same, but better?

    • Adblock Plus devs might as well be afraid that people opt for the better blockers, like Adblock Edge and particularly Block.
      • "... particularly uBlock." Apparently /. dislikes Unicode, or even just Greek letters.
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Adblock Plus devs might as well be afraid that people opt for the better blockers

        This was posted, and still no APK response? I hope he's not sick or something. /. wouldn't be the same w/o 400 posts about the merits of the hosts file whenever ad blocking is mentioned.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Should be fine" ...until Google makes up another excuse.

    • Adblock Plus for Android got kicked out of Google Play along with other ad blocking apps in March 2013, because Google’s developer distribution agreement states apps cannot interfere with the functionality of other apps

      How is AdBlock interfering with the functionality of other apps? That makes no sense. Are people running apps whose function is to display ads?

      But, this is not surprising, since 98% of Google's revenue depends on advertising being as intrusive as possible,

      • Re:Until... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lister king of smeg ( 2481612 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @01:54PM (#49737863)

        Adblock Plus for Android got kicked out of Google Play along with other ad blocking apps in March 2013, because Google’s developer distribution agreement states apps cannot interfere with the functionality of other apps

        How is AdBlock interfering with the functionality of other apps? That makes no sense. Are people running apps whose function is to display ads?

        But, this is not surprising, since 98% of Google's revenue depends on advertising being as intrusive as possible,

        Yes that is the sole reason for almost any ad supported app. Whatever other functionality they have is simply the bait used to get you to view their ads. You are the product sold to the ad networks by the app developer and then resold to the whomever is placing the ad.

      • Are people running apps whose function is to display ads?

        Um... yes of course they are? How else do you think the ads get onto the screen?

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        It's so true. I don't even bother trying a lot of apps because it's just more advertising. They're just hurting themselves. Google's own "news and weather" app is a great example. A good percentage of the sites they link to for news articles are not usable due to invasive ads.

  • Bandwidth sucking and privacy really needs to be addressed by these phone platforms. The default for anything "app" that requests data should be no and strict warnings provided before any user is shown the "I accept" button.

    • Its hard to believe that Microsoft might be the ones to turn to in the end. IM so sick of the 'mobile' web on iOS and Android. I LOVE my Windows 8 tablets because i get the INTERNET on it, not just the mobile web.
      • So you missed View In Desktop mode then?

        • Some sites refuse to let you view their site on mobile web browser even in desktop mode. Its 'install app or fuck you'.

          'Internet, not just web' includes more than WEB browsers....
          • I have yet to find a site that does that.

        • I just wish it was possible to set it to that always instead of having to do it all the damn time. There probably is I just don't like using smartphones enough to figure it out.
  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @01:30PM (#49737559)

    Anyone know how to completely block auto-playing videos on Safari? And by completely, I mean prevent them from loading the video file at all. Those stupid things, that I'm never going to watch (fuck you, advertisers), are eating into my monthly cap.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I use Linux, so my initial response is to suggest using /etc/hosts. However, apparently macs put their /etc/hosts file in /private/etc/hosts. Just search for "how to edit /etc/hosts on mac"; that's how I found out the location. Anyway, just add entries like:

      127.0.0.1 ads.somesite.com
      127.0.0.1 videos.some-affiliate.org

      This works by lying to your computer about the DNS records for those websites. Any time a program tries to access one of those sites, the DNS lookup will come back as your local PC. If you do

    • I'll say gently, maybe consider a different browser if you can't block what you don't like in the one you use.

    • Anyone know how to completely block auto-playing videos on Safari?

      Personally, I would Google "completely block auto-playing videos on Safari"

    • by ne0n ( 884282 )
      apt-get remove --purge safari

      Should do the trick. I can guarantee no autoplaying video adverts and other nuisances if you don't have the root problem installed.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I wished Apple wasn't so strict in not providing addons to its iOS Safari like ad blocker. :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just install the standard Firefox on Android and load the uBlock add-on. It works brilliantly.

    I used to be a devout Opera on Android user. While I miss some of the little touches (no pun intended) of Opera, I'm a Firefox convert.

    The only thing I use Chrome for now is that abomination that is Amazon Instant Videos.

    • What's the default on Android? That was an utterly useless piece of crap. I assumed it was Chrome since it's Google... Firefox isn't much better though. So slow, no instruction manual (seriously, I can't figure out how to use it, how to customize it to get rid of accidentally added bookmarks, how to remove the default start page, etc). Then I have to pull out a magnifying glass to read any page that pops up anyway.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        What's the default on Android? That was an utterly useless piece of crap. I assumed it was Chrome since it's Google...

        On modern Android, yes that's Chrome mobile. But before that it was just "android browser", Samsung also has its own browser so not all android phones use the same browser.
        Most of them are based on WebKit though.

  • Why would we need another firefox-based browser designed for security? I thought that's what pale moon was. In the bargain you get 64-bit builds.

    • by Skuto ( 171945 )

      Pale Moon designed for security? I just pissed my pants laughing.

      The cool aid is not only strong, it keeps revising history.

  • Williams thus believes Adblock Browser “should be fine” as it only blocks ads that are shown as you browse the Web.

    Williams could not ask Google if it was fine?

  • got rid of the stupid overlay advertisement Slashdot puts on my phone that keeps me from ever being able to read the very bottom of anything....

  • I can understand and even support ad blocking for two reasons, Avoiding wasting data (particularly on annoying video ads) and Protecting Privacy (not sure why every site that I visit seems to need to contact Facebook, particularly since I'm not a Facebook member and never will be. The HOSTS file seems to be a big help with this on my desktop, but I don't seem to have access to one on my non-rooted Android devices.

    So, with one of the concerns being Privacy, why in hell does the Adblock site say: "Join the

  • by MSG ( 12810 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2015 @03:33PM (#49738923)

    The Firefox Sync functionality is disabled, as is the ability to use other addons

    The article says that they added support for other add-ons (exactly how is unclear), not that they disabled them.

  • Luckily AdBlock Plus is installable from the F-Droid repository, which is a lot more trustworthy than the dross-laden Play Store.

  • I have not tried ABP but lots of firefox extensions do work on Android so it seems like a useless project to make an "Adblock browser". Those who have a little bit of knowlege (and root) most likely already have adaway from f-droid installed making it even less useful

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