Well that was... brief. Just days after Samsung released an update that allowed for adblocking software to be installed on its handsets, Google has put its foot down. The company has already started to pull adblocking apps from Google Play.
Being so reliant on advertising revenue, it's understandable that Google might take a dim view of anything that stops the cash rolling in. Nonetheless, a move to block apps that have already proved incredibly popular has raised the ire of developers and users alike.
Of course, Google is not saying outright that it has a problem with the distribution of adblocking tools per se, but the end result is the same. Developers are being contacted by the company to inform them that their app violates Google policy.
Rocketship Apps, the company behind Adblock Fast, the first adblocker to make its way into Google Play, received an email from the 'Google Play Review Team':
So what does section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement say? This is the clause that prevents developers from 'interfering' with other apps and services:
It seems that Google's problem lies with standalone adblocking tools. If a web browser happens to feature the ability to block ads, more power to it, but if a developer wants to add adblocking to an existing browser, that's a different matter.
hile users and developers may be annoyed by this, it also places Samsung in something of an awkward situation as it provided access to an API with the specific aim of allowing developers to produce adblockers for its own browser.