Desktop browser plugin Adblock Plus is very popular. The software, which prevents ads from appearing on websites serves it’s users in two ways: firstly it gets rid of distracting popups and the like, and secondly it prevents tracking cookies being placed onto your machine by advertisers. The team behind the free software reckons it’s been downloaded more than 300 million times.
On the mobile front, however, it’s limited its activity to a plugin for Firefox on Android. Up until now that is: last night the team announced that it’s releasing an open beta version of its self-contained browser: Adblock Plus Browser for Android.
This new version offers a “more complete” experience, the company said in a blog post.
As with the Firefox plugin, you still can’t download Adblock Plus for Android from the Google Play store, so you’ll have to grab the APK independently. Previous attempts to put the addon into Google Play were removed due to “interference” with other services and products, according to the app store’s policies.
There was also the issue of ads being blocking only on unencrypted connections, which Adblock said posed a risk to its users.
“Those aren’t the only problems with Adblock Plus for Android, but the other ones can be solved if we invest enough energy into it – these two can’t, really. So that’s one reason why we’ve decided to build our own mobile browser,” said Adblock Plus’ Felix Dahlke.
Adblock said it won’t be making any major tweaks after the beta testing period but that it will be listening to users’ needs and wishes by making ad and content blocking more flexible and easier to configure over time.
“We will look into ways of bringing Adblock Browser and the desktop browser of your choice together in a way that makes sense,” Dahlke said.
iPhone and iPad users can look forward to a beta version for iOS “soon” the company said. In the meantime, you can sign up to be notified once it arrives.
You can join the Adblock Plus Browser for Android beta community on Google+ here and sign up to download it by clicking this download link posted on the page.