In part of Google’s spring cleaning process, it has started to remove several ad-blocking applications from its mobile app store. Apparently Google Play claims these apps violate part of its Developer Distribution Agreement (see section 4.4).
Google is reasoning that these apps, ‘interfere with or access another service or product in an unauthorized manner.’
So of course one of the most popular ad block apps ever, Adblock Plus, got banned from the Play store too. You might be familiar with immensely popular browser extension by the same folks.
Introduction to Adblock Plus
According to TNW, The Electronic Frontier Foundation was not amused, saying that this move clearly “demonstrates that Google is willing to censor software and abandon its support for open platforms as soon as there’s an ad-related business reason for doing so.” Basically suggesting that Google is doing evil despite their mantra.
The Adblock Plus team responded in a post they were shocked by the move and would soon release a new standalone version of their Android app.
Well folks that day has come! Adblock Plus has just released version 1.1 of its Android application, which of course will need to be installed from other locations than the Google Play store.
After Google’s removal, you can download Adblock Plus for Android here: adblockplus.org/en/android-ins…
— Adblock Plus (@AdblockPlus) March 19, 2013
Adblock Plus wants people to manually install the new version of their app, as it comes with automatic updates for future versions (avoiding the need to go back to the store) plus some general bug fixes.
Obviously the virality of this app has take a hit losing exposure in the actual Play store, however Adblock plus claims that their userbase for their Google Chrome browser add-on has skyrocketed since the app got booted from the Play store, with 9 million users now and growing.
— Adblock Plus (@AdblockPlus) March 20, 2013
What do you think of the move by Google? Do you use any ad blocking apps? Is is fair to filter out paid advertisements on other platforms?