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Last Updated: March 14th, 2013

According to Android developer Jared Rummler and a number of other sources, Google has begun purging known ad-blocking software from the Play Store today.

Popular app AdAway was among those removed, and received notice that its app was in violation of section 4.4 of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement. Here is the cited section:

4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.

There really isn't much wiggle room on interpretation here - ad blockers clearly do interfere with the properties and services of third parties (including Google, which is probably a big one not to interfere with). Most of the popular ad-blocking tools seem to have vanished, including Adblock Plus, which recently fell victim to a bug fix in Android that made the service much more difficult to use. Another very widely-downloaded solution, AdFree Android, is also gone.

AdAway had this to say about the message they received, and advised users to switch to an open alternative:

AdAway was removed from Google Play

I received an email from Google Play that AdAway was removed due to "Violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement." Thus, it will never be available on Google Play again. Please switch to the open alternative: F-Droid (https://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk) and install AdAway with F-Droid.

Here's the message Ad Blocker received regarding the takedown:

This is a notification that your application, Ad Blocker ★ Root ★, with package ID com.jrummy.apps.ad.blocker, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

After a regular review we have determined that your app interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner. This violates the provision of your agreement with Google referred to above.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the application that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

Some of these apps are still available as cache on the Play Store, but all have been removed the affected developers' app listings. We'll update this story as we learn more.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShitizGarg Shitiz Garg

    Honestly, I like this. Developers deserve to be paid for their apps, ad blocks prevent them to earn any dime from them.

    • raazman

      I pay for all of my apps that have a paid version, it's the web where it comes in handy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ShitizGarg Shitiz Garg

        There are apps which are free with ads, I'm mostly referencing them.

        • raazman

          Yes I agree with you when it comes to supporting devs. I was simply just saying that it's beneficial for web browsing as well.

        • barnassey thomas

          There are some app that still push ads (angry birds comes to mind) even if you pay. So your argument fails on some levels. Also there are some apps that DONT have paid versions.

          • efan

            exactly and it helps with web browsing on the phone as well.

          • marcusmaximus04

            So... don't use those apps?

          • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

            Simple solution. Don't use the app.

          • efan

            dont use the app. dont give them revenue. or use the app and give them revenue. what's the difference?

          • efan

            *don't

          • Brandon

            I noticed it was mostly kids aimed at children that had adds and in game stores. I cannot think of which ones right now, but I remember being charged for stuff in game on a game aimed for children when my niece and nephew were playing on my phone.

          • barnassey thomas

            Thing is this is only targeting power users anyway who have rooted phones. So in the end this will backfire. power users ALWAYS buy more apps than regular users.

          • Azaraith

            Per user, perhaps, but power users don't make up a high enough percent of the market for that to be true on an aggregate basis...

          • darwiniandude

            Doubtful. The power users I know have more apps, but they don't pay for them, they just side load the apk. It's novices who haven't rooted their phone who spend money in the store.

          • Judgen Edin

            Marketing directly to kids is highly illegal in most EU countries. (if not all, but i am not certain as i have not read the EC's statements of filed laws as of this moment but i certainly will)

          • Floss

            And yet you still chose to buy that app, so your argument still holds no ground.

          • Apofis

            I'm sure there are ad-free paid or just simply ad-supported alternatives. There's multiple apps, of varying types, for just about anything I can think of.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1460897384 Paul M. Sullivan

          This is a good point... pulling down ads could use bandwidth we are paying for. Reading text on a webpage won't use much data, but add in some picture-based ads and that shoots up.

      • Demetrius

        Firefox has ad-block as an Add-on.

    • http://mavi222.deviantart.com/gallery/ Mavi

      Exactly! If you like the app, and you are using it so much that ads are annoying to you, just pay for the ad-free version of the app!

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        I'd do that, if Google could find it in them to support more banks and debit cards here in India, but they don't sadly (Apple has much better support). So I buy those apps that are available on third-party stores like AndroidPIT (there aren't many on those though), for others it's ad block (or pirating, though I've had to do that will only one app thankfully, all others I have free versions that do the job). not to mention ad block comes in handy in the browser as well.

        But still, it's good Google is doing this, developers will benefit (and so will Google if they did this only because their ad revenues might be slipping).

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Assuming there is one which in most cases there isn't.

      • mgamerz

        Exactly why I bought BaconReader

      • John O’Connor

        I believe that the primary point here is that there are paid apps (a lot) that still have ads in them. I prefer to pay for fully functional ad free versions of apps but tend to slowly stop using those apps with annoying ads (even if I have already paid for them)

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      I agree.

      I used to use ad blockers always, until last month when I released an app on the store that included ads, and I discovered that the revenue from ads is not negligible (not 100's of $, but something extra for a few beers a month). since then I removed all ad blockers to let also other devs earn for the ads.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

        You found Jesus, so now you're going to condemn the rest of who haven't? Nice. I particularly like the part where you only saw the light once it helped you financially.

        • Tomi Golob

          Awesome reply +1 to you

          • Undroid

            Agreed. Once everyone accepts ads as a way of life, devs earn money. The disturbing thing about Android is we don't know who is collecting the rest of the information and what they're doing with it.

            Come back here when you're declined an insurance policy because Google's data scrapers in Android have marked you as a high risk customer and that data is VERY valuable to the insurance companies. Probably worth $billions once everyone is touched by Android.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

          It's not condemn, its just saying that it users leave ads on, devs will earn money for their work, removing ads will make devs earn less, and then will not make more apps.

          I agree that some apps are full of ads (push, between screens, etc), which are aweful and should be even banned from the market, but a simple 25 pixel ad in the app is not that bad.

    • heat361

      Which is exactly why I never use any ad blocker. It's like you take away money from people, not just developers,but websites like androidpolice.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        You are a very special flower.

        • heat361

          Yep I know , I'm probably one of the few that do this.

      • Wes

        If ad's weren't so intrusive I wouldn't mind, but they are, and I paid for my internet service, computer, phone, phone service etc and IMO they have no right to force ad's onto my screen.

        I do buy paid apps where applicable, the rest get ad blocked.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          You've got a very good point about ads using up bandwidth - something that most customers are trying not to use too much of. It may not be much, but we're paying just to see those ads, so I have no moral dilemma with blocking them. I support the devs of apps I use by purchasing the paid version when I can, but I have no desire to look at ads when I'm browsing the web. I do the same thing on my PC.

        • J .

          " I paid for my internet service, computer, phone, phone service etc and IMO they have no right to force ad's onto my screen."

          With that logic, do you also demand billboards and other signage used for advertising is taken off YOUR streets and highways?

          After all, you bought the car, paid your taxes, that means you own everything,

          • Undroid

            I think that's more along the lines of "I paid for my phone and don't want telemarketers ringing it to sell me something I don't want"

          • J .

            You might think so but it's not the same thing. Maybe if you compared it to cable television where people pay a premium and still get ads, you would be making more sense right now :)

      • Azaraith

        Which is why I whitelist sites I like and repeatedly visit, but prefer to block ads otherwise (since I'm not a fan of intrusive, annoying ads popping up at me). I vote with my eyes and, in turn, advertisers' wallets if a site has content that makes me come back again and has chosen ads that don't make me leave again.

    • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

      Yeah it only contradicts everything Google has ever said about Android being open..meanwhile you can block ads on Apple devices by flipping a switch in settings. Plus Apple doesn't sell your data.

      • Floss

        Open means that you can choose to install it regardless of whether they blocked it from the market or not, whereas if Apple chose to block it you would have no choice. Nice try though troll.

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        "Plus Apple doesn't sell your data." << Sure...

        • Undroid

          Can you cite any sources? Apple actually has a long history of denying access to personal data by outside companies. That's what started the [rocky launch] of Apple Maps on iOS. Google wanted all that user data and Apple said it was none of their business. Apple has a UI element to Allow or Deny access to things like your contacts, calendars, reminders and your photo library to whatever app asks for it.

          On the other hand, Google will sell all of that to anyone - who you're near, where you are, what you've looked at, what's going on with your "personal" info (for sale to anyone).

      • Tomi Golob

        Turning off WiFi/mobile data disables ads on Android... Also,lol ,your reasoning is funny because it's wrong

    • Cuvis

      I have a bandwidth cap. Are the developers going to pay my data overage?

  • efan

    woah. this kinda sucks. but good thing we have other means of installing these apps but a bummer non the less.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Those who really care about adblocking will still find these apps elsewhere. But it's nice to see Google take some action for once...

  • Jason Banich

    Disappointing, but they're within their rights

  • Kristopher Linville

    I wonder how/if this will affect all the ad-blocking custom ROMs that are available...

    • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

      Not at all

    • http://twitter.com/omac_ranger Logan Graham

      Most just apply them by host file... So it really won't affect those at all. These do the same thing, just allow you to update it within the application.

  • andyr354

    Well, get it from XDA instread I guess. I use AdAway and really like it.

    • http://twitter.com/Rovex Rovex

      XDA needs a store app of its own..

  • vision77

    That move will only spur innovation on the the ad blocking side of things thus spurring innovation on the delivery of ads.....its a classic game of cat and mouse.....

    • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

      You're talking about workarounds, not innovation. ;)

      If you limit what an app can do, it kills innovation. However, if you provide a solid foundation for it, it will thrive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      Not really. Android relies on a hosts file, just like Windows. Edit that file in Notepad and you can block any domain/website you want in seconds. There's no way around that. You don't even need an app to do this, but it does make doing it a little easier.

      • Matthew Fry

        But you do need root.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmlares Jessica Lares

    ROM Toolbox has it built-in anyway, hahaha. I use it for browser ads mostly anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      But they'll likely have to remove that feature if they want it to remain on the Play store.

      • Matthew Fry

        considering Rummler's had one app removed already, he's probably on thin ice. I would expect you are correct and that will be gone in the next update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

    I tend to buy ad-free versions of apps that I use frequently, but I -DO- use an ad blocker simply for browsing. I paid money for my phone and don't need 10% of the screen real-estate taken up by a flashing banner ad on a website. Ah well, I'll continue to update AdAway from an alternative market...

    • Aaron Sherman

      Yeah, it's a real shame, overall. I agree with Google's call, here, as it hurts the platform overall to have apps routing all traffic through themselves, but I would really like to see a reasonable solution on the Web side.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    I'm sure Ad-Free will still exist on the Internet. The only question is whether or not it'll continue to be updated.

    • Danny Holyoake

      ... why the heck wouldn't it?

  • FadyMahfouz

    Dick move for users, hero move for developers.

  • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

    People need to start paying for the apps they use & make their work easy. It's not fair. Dev earns very less money from ads and you're stopping that as well. What's the point of developing apps then?

    • barnassey thomas

      Show me a dev that actually makes REAL money off of mobile ads (that isnt somewhat of a star like Koush) and ill stop blocking ads.

      • Undroid

        See: iOS devs with no ads.

    • omegavesko

      As a developer, I'm perfectly fine with people blocking ads. That said, I don't even put ads in my apps, mainly because I could care less about the pennies I could earn by doing it.

  • http://twitter.com/PetrBa Petr Bažout

    You need root for ad-blocking. If someone does root they will find apk on internet anyway.

  • Chris Pick

    Some of these apps, broke 3rd party apps that did not have any ads in them at all.. It routed all traffic through a proxy, which in some cases could not handle some ssl transmissions, and broke our app.. Pretty happy they are gone..

    • raazman

      I use Ad-away and haven't experienced this issue. You didn't have to use it if it didn't suit your needs...

    • barnassey thomas

      You are lying NONE of those apps do that.

      • Aaron Sherman

        Um... you're wrong. In fact, that's why AB+ needed Android 3.0 or later, since 2.x didn't have proxy settings that apps could manage (you could manually configure proxy settings to get it to work on older versions)

        • barnassey thomas

          Thats adblocker+ adaway and adfree used hosts lists that are publicly available and worked under 2.0 and higher just fine.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

    You misquoted the takedown notice as being for AdAway, however it's for AD Blocker. Says so in the text you've got quoted.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Whoops, got my ad away blockers mixed up.

  • barnassey thomas

    I wonder why they say its in an unauthorized manner when other root apps are considered unauthorized?

  • efan

    you guys know that ad blocking applies to web browsing as well right? speeds up page loads. uses less data. very useful tools. not just for sticking it to developers. and not all apps even have a paid option and some paid options still have ads. so don't hate on ad blockers.

    • raazman

      I agree with your point on web browsing. That was the whole point of using ad blockers for me.

      • Aaron Sherman

        Which is a good reason for the ad blocking software under Android to have focused on the Web and left apps alone... oh well.

        • efan

          pretty sure that's impossible. ad blocking apps just add the url to the host file. it can't tell if the ad is via an app or web browsing.

        • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

          Ad-blocking apps blacklists ad servers on the hosts file of the device, so they just can't choose what to block.

    • http://twitter.com/Craigboy Craig Boyte

      Except all those pages that have ads on them are only there because of the ads. Without advertising there is no free web.

      • Wes

        Reddit.com, proper use of advertising, isn't overly irritating.

        Basically EVERY other website, uses very intrusive ad's and subsequently are blocked. If they want revenue from me, they can use better ad services or select the ads they display themselves.

        For one thing showing me your stupid ad has never sold me on anything ever, but that's because I'm an educated consumer, I research things before I purchase them.

        • Brandon L Booth

          Reddit doesn't make much money though. Also many legit companies stay away because shit gets real weird there and they don't want their ads next to the darker sides of Reddit

    • chris2kari

      Absolutely agree. I hate ads.
      Fuck you Google, fuck you very much.

  • http://Techderp.net/ Scott R

    I wouldn't mind adds if they didn't constantly cause heavy web traffic

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com/ Silver Fang

    People really just need to pay for apps if they don't want the ads. The app devs aren't rich and deserve to make money from their hard work.

    • raazman

      What about web browsing?

      • The_Chlero

        Ads in web pages are also a way for those site owner to get some cash. The thing is that web designer must create their ads not too much obstrubsives

        • http://twitter.com/lewisanderson78 Lewis Anderson

          some ads arent bad but when a ad pop ups 4 to 5 other ad pages there is a issue I really think this will hurt google more than help cause it will send people to other sites to get them and they will learn how to pirate apps

    • barnassey thomas

      What about apps that don't have a paid version?

      • Aaron Sherman

        Don't use them if ads bother you?

        • barnassey thomas

          Hmm good point but doesn't work for all.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    Hey Google, while you're at it, how 'bout you also purge PAID apps that still PUSH ADS in our faces?

    • raazman

      Yeah, those greedy devs!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

        Darn them for wanting to make more money for their hard work!

        Hah. Though, I agree that it's kinda bad form to have ads in a paid app. But most developers don't even make enough to feed themselves, so I suppose I could understand it.

        • omegavesko

          As a developer: If you think you can live off of putting apps on the Play Store, you're delusional.

          • paxmos

            Then get a real job!!!

          • lawman

            I guess you don't like having apps, then?

          • paxmos

            I do, but not on someone else's expense. I wouldn't want a developer to make nothing on all the effort he/she sets forth for an app that we may take for granted. It is not easy to be coding and I like them to make a pretty good life based on their efforts. They might as well become talk show hosts, doesn't take much intelligence to do that nowadays, coding does!!!

          • http://twitter.com/fettemama fettemama

            Yeah! Become a soul less cubicle drone like the rest!

          • Undroid

            That would be an iOS or WM8 dev. Ok, maybe not WM8, but anyone who steadfastly protests developing for iOS deserves what they get which is largely nothing.

          • Nick

            As someone who makes a very comfy living from putting apps on the Play Store, I guess I should see a doctor!

          • Undroid

            You, sir, are a rare duck. Hat's off to you!

          • http://twitter.com/babuye monosky

            I don't agree with this. I am a indie developer, i do not sell apps but i have awesome apps that i earn more than any day job can pay me. Which job can buy me a car, a house and still thousands of dollars in my account?? I doubt I am delusional and i know of many other devs who are making a kill by making awesome apps. So you are the deluded one.

          • Undroid

            You and Nick should list the apps you are writing. We'd all like to take a look. Seriously. We could all learn something.

          • Cedric Counotte

            Developers with apps in the top-100 in any category can make a living of it.

      • Nathaniel Webb

        I believe the point was that we paid for the app, yet some try to double dip with ads in spite of this.

        • Apofis

          Not every app is so cheap as to be developed and then either sold for a dollar or are adsupported. If your app would regularly be, say $5, but you sell an ad-subsidized version for $2 then that's fine, as long as you say so. But balls to apps that sell obvious cheap/simple apps for a buck or two and still put ads into it.

          • Steve Green

            So raise the price.

            If an app is not free, adds should not be allowed. If the dev wants more money, then he can increase the price.

          • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

            The reason so many apps on Android use ads is because apps sales are very poor on Android compared to iOS and piracy is rampant.

          • Jongjungbu

            It wouldn't be as rampant if they made a quality app that wasn't shallow and built around in-app purchases. Then they could sell enough copies to offset the impossible-to-stop-completely piracy.

          • mgamerz

            I might pirate TV shows (from cable) and a game once in a while (Hah! Screw you EA!), I always buy my apps.

          • crawdad62

            You're a damned fine person.

          • mgamerz

            But I always buy my apps.* I buy about 95% of my music now too.

          • Cedric Counotte

            The main factor is that it's far too easy to crack a Java app, as opposed to native code on iOS.

            Also too many Android users are not willing to pay a single buck on quality apps, they want everything for free and without ads!

            I'm glad those ad blocker are gone, and you should all be as this may help good developers continue to deliver quality apps on Android!

          • Undroid

            Correct. Android is a piracy platform. For all the criticism of iOS (in this context, mostly due to the fact that you can't pirate apps easily), at least they're watching out for devs AND customers. Both are getting what they want on iOS.

          • Undroid

            Android! Because it's OPEN!

      • Proximodo can block ads

        sure as vendetta are when labeling NOT-free apps as free when in fact releasing adware flavor of MALWARE

        Greedy and DISHONEST

    • David Becker

      You have 15 minutes to refund an app. if you buy a paid app and see it still has ads, leave a bad review of your experience and refund it.

      • omegavesko

        15 minutes is a hilariously small return window.

        • http://tablified.com Ayman Suleiman

          More than enough for most apps and games.

          • Kan9al

            You're delusional to think so. Not everybody lives in their mom's basement with ample time for refunds.

          • omegavesko

            I literally cannot comprehend what you're trying to say here.

          • Kan9al

            I was responding to David and Ayman. I am agreeing with you.
            15 minutes is not enough to refund an App in most real-world situations.

            In some countries, the minimum time is 24hours... and Google is stepping over wrong judicial boundaries here.

            That Down Vote was not necessary bud.

          • omegavesko

            Ah, sorry. Disqus is confusing for threaded conversations.

          • David Becker

            It takes 1 minute to open the app you just spent money on and see if it has ads. If you don't have 1 minute to look over the product you just spent money on, then it is your own fault for spending money on something without looking it over.

          • http://twitter.com/RvLeshrac RvLeshrac

            It takes one minute to open the app. But the developer can happily postpone displaying ads.

          • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

            Hardly.

          • John Longson

            It takes fifteen minutes to DOWNLOAD some games you realize have crap in them.

        • Vandré Brunazo

          You have a 48 hours return window if you go to the support page and ask for a refund.

          • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

            I even asked a refund for an app I bought several months ago (Reddit Sync Pro) once it was pulled from the Play Store for a DMCA claim (the app returned to the store later on after it was found it didn't infringed on the Reddit trademark).

            I got my refund, and I rebought the app once it came back.

        • paxmos

          Hey, Apple's is -15 minutes!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Neal/818455593 William Neal

        thats nice.. if the ads would show up in the first 15 minutes. 99% of the time it tkes alot more the 15minutes to see if there is ads or not. nice try though

        • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

          Have a +1, good sir.

    • limbo

      next google will ban any internet Firewall in play store.
      because it reduce their ad revenue..

      • Undroid

        Google's entire business model relies on destroying your privacy and selling everything they learn about you from their Android Spyware platform.

        • F__R__A__N__K

          Maybe you mean facebook

          • Undroid

            Them too.

      • Cedric Counotte

        What is the purpose of a firewall on Android, but to block ads? A firewall is often used to block incoming connections to protect one's device, but firewall on Android only do the opposite.

        The only "useful" purpose of such firewall on Android is to prevent apps from sending stuff over the internet. But then don't install those privacy-breaking apps in the first place. But I don't know anyone using them that way.

  • Julio M

    There is someone really butthurt in this thread. Going around disliking every post :| People need to earn a living you know.

    • barnassey thomas

      Reason why is that this only affects power users not normal people. It is almost always power users that root their phone and use these root applications.

      • efan

        if it werent for "power users" android wouldnt exist in its present form.

        • Julio M

          sounds jolly but I would love some back up on that one.

          • omegavesko

            Who do you think were the early adopters? Your grandma didn't buy the G1.

          • efan

            nor did they mod or add features to the system that eventually became part of AOSP or other versions of android.

    • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

      In that case we should enable regular users to have the same choices. :) #Accessibility

      • Julio M

        Same choices as whose?

        • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

          As those people who are able to customize their Android device however they want - read: tech savvy people.

          • Julio M

            That calls for the regular user to become tech savvy

          • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

            Good luck with that! :) It would be great if everyone were tech savvy enough - especially politicians.

    • omegavesko

      >People need to earn a living you know.

      As a developer: If you're trying to earn a living by putting apps on the Play Store, you're either the CEO of a company or a moron.

      • GamerD

        Clearly you're not doing it right.

        • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

          You'd have to sell quite a lot of $1 apps to pay the salary of one developer. It's much easier to develop webapps.

          • Matthew Fry

            60,000 $1 downloads is not very many.

        • Dan Andersen

          Exactly. You're not holding it right.

      • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

        Yeah you should write for Apple devices if you want to make any money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Wilson/1536862974 Cory Wilson

    I had that installed on custom rom and never used it. I can't stand ads, so the solution to me was simple. Try the ad supported version, if I like it, buy it. These ad blocking apps are pointless

    • efan

      not every app has an ad free version and some paid apps still hava ads and ad blocking is useful for web browsing.

  • HebeGuess

    I don't like it, though I think this was the things has to be done.. For the apps, devs, and ecosystem. P.S. Of course their ad revenues.

  • Paul

    Are they available on the Amazon App Store? What are other large Android app repositories, you reported on one a couple of weeks ago, and now I also just learned about F-Droid.

  • barnassey thomas

    Interesting over on G+ it seems the three top adblocking applications blocked google ads as well...

    Thread here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103876278794381402383/posts/QYD4QphP7R7

  • banana

    Well, it's not like my copy of AdAway is going to stop working, and it's not like it's a particularly sophisticated app that isn't already serving its purpose, nor is it a buggy app.

    I'll just back up my APK. No big deal.

    • Matthew Fry

      The great thing about AdAway (and most adblockers) is that you only have to be rooted when it first runs and changes your host file. You can unroot and it still works.

  • CeluGeek

    I'm surprised it took this long for Google to pull the plug on ad blockers!

  • armshouse

    People saying they use adblockers to block adverts on websites and not apps. How is that better? Website developers and website owners still deserve to get money for their site! If you hate seeing adverts on a particular website, stop going to it! AP have adverts on this site, do they not deserve advert revenue for their hard work, reviews and investigations?

    I agree, all advert blockers should be removed. Advert blocking is the same to me as pirating. Both reduce income to those who have worked hard to provide a service!

    • armshouse

      And if you don't like a paid app that still has adverts in it. Uninstall and get a refund! It's your choice. No ones forced you to use the app

    • efan

      some ads are portals to malware and can infect PCs just by loading in the background. plus they are often very annoying. there are legitimate reasons to use ad blocking.

      • armshouse

        Install an anti virus on your PC and stop with dodgey porn sites :p on your phone/tablet ,there is no requirement

        • efan

          antivirus isnt bullet proof. some very legitimate sites sometimes identically have malware laden ads like Imgur. what about ads that are flashed based? am i not allowed to visit the site because the ads wont load on my device without flash?

          • armshouse

            Flash based ads won't load the ad but the site loads. And no AV is bullet proof. But that's not your right to block revenue to all site owners! You can't justify not paying for something and still using it. Ads are how web owners and app devs get revenue

          • efan

            i'm saying if a site employs flash based ads their source of revenue and my device doesnt support flash i am effectively blocking their ads. am i in turn not allowed to visit the site since i am not contributing to their revenue? and it is my right to do anything i so choose to my device regardless of how it effects others. it may be shitty but it's my right.

    • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

      Shouldn't that be my decision if I want to see their ads or not? It runs on my device, over my bandwidth, drains my battery and it may even violate my privacy. Of course I want to have control over that - just like I can tell my browser to disallow cookies, block flash or even block images.

      • efan

        a million times this!

      • http://twitter.com/Craigboy Craig Boyte

        It's their site and content that you are seeing, so no it's not your decision. They are the ones that have to pay for people to create that content, pay for web hosting, pay for IT staff etc.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          That's like saying "you can look at my girlfriend's vagina, but you also have to look at my penis."

          No thanks, I'll just close my eyes for that part.

      • Alvin Wong

        By using an ad blocker you are cutting off a developer's revenue stream. In other words, the way he/she makes money. We ought not to hold such a self-entitled attitude - programming is real work and the app is already provided to you for no upfront cost.

        • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

          But if the ad makes people want to block it, why is this the users' fault? (sounds a lot like Apple) ;)

        • Undroid

          An app is provided for no upfront cost because if you charge for it, the users will just steal it anyway. Android lets you steal anything, iOS doesn't. Google WANTS you to use ads because THEY make money too. Billions of nanopennies. They really don't care about how/if devs make money.

      • armshouse

        You're right, it is your decision. If you do not want to see the advert, stop using the app or going to the website. problem solved. that's your decision!

        • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

          So it's my fault that the ads are attention-grabbing, noisy and significantly decrease my user experience? Shouldn't that be the primary focus of websites and apps?
          In that case they could try to serve acceptable ads that I wouldn't want to block and that may even provide some additional value. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          That's silly logic. How does not visiting the website altogether help the developer in any way whatsoever? It doesn't.

          • armshouse

            The website owner has to pay for bandwidth no? But that's just how the market works! You dont like something, you dont pay for it and do not use it.

            That's like saying well I don't wanna pay for an app because of whatever reason, but instead of just not using it, I'm just gonna pirate it. What's the difference?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            I'm not disagreeing with your second statement. I'm simply pointing out that by me not using something at all, the developer gains nothing. You should study up on the history of Microsoft. The reason they are a leader today is because of the rampant pirating that took place early on. Piracy is a bad word for something that isn't actually as "bad" as it seems.

  • Krisztián Kelemen

    so what? we'll get it them from xda...

  • Augustine cervantes

    I honestly don't mind paying For and app. However I do get annoyed when I pay for an app, and then later on they decide they wanna put ads on Later. talk about a sucker punch to the loyal amount of people who paid for your app.

    • efan

      seems a lot of people here will just tell you to suck it up and stop using the app if it bugs you. :/

  • Matthew Merrick

    My go-to adblocker is built into rom toolbox. After reading this, I was scared that it would be removed from the play store too. Boy am I glad it's there.

    • Macguru

      For now

  • Alex

    No prob, just use the the F-Droid store :)
    And I will keep using AdAway.

  • JonJJon

    Are Google likely to get rid of the Advert blocking apps in the Chrome Store due to this?

    • efan

      good question

    • SoWhy

      I doubt it, because without AdBlock Plus a lot of Chrome users will switch (back) to Firefox. Adblocking is one of the most essential extensions most people use after all and on PCs you have a choice which browser to use

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

        That's complete speculation. Plus, many Chrome users came from IE - not FireFox -and nobody's trying to go back to IE.

        Also, you have a choice as to which browser to use on Android too. I think I know what you were getting at, but you explained it poorly. You should have said that it wouldn't have the same effect because Chrome is just a browser and Android is an entire OS.

        • SoWhy

          Of course it is speculation but it's logical speculation. As for your criticism of my wording: 1.) I put the "back" in parentheses for that very reason - because not everyone who uses Chrome now switched from Firefox. 2.) It's not the same because a) adblocking on Android works differently than it does in a browser and b) switching to an Android browser with adblocking enabled will not address the problem that apps like AdFree block ads in every app

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

            2a) Wrong. Android relies on a hosts file, just like Windows. Browsers also have other ways to block ads, but if you think that's the standard way to block ads, you might not know what you're talking about.

            2b) Not sure what your point is. I didn't say anything about an Android browser. I was simply trying to help you fix your analogy about computers.

    • Matthew Fry

      That was my question too. They are planning on charging for youtube music subscriptions and the benefit is no ads.... I don't see ads on youtube...

  • GraveUypo

    do not care. i'll always use ad blockers.
    ads never worked on me anyway. i literally have never clicked on an ad intentionally. they just annoy me.

  • Qliphah

    Wonder how the AOKP will respond to this, it's built into the OS as far as my experience with SmoothROM goes.

    • efan

      really dont think it will affect them at all. it's just apps in the play store. it doesnt stop anything from working and google really doenst bother custom roms

  • http://twitter.com/snookasnoo Idon’t Know

    Open! Ahahahahahah...

  • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

    What's funny about this is that they will never block adblockers from the Chrome Web Store because they know that people would probably start using another browser.

    • Matthew Fry

      or start working with them to let certain ones through. Already AdBlock lets in text ads from Google.

  • http://www.baronsofbullshit.com/ seriosbrad

    Could an ad-blocking app survive in the Play Store if it were designed to specifically target browser based ads rather than in-app ads? I would be OK with that.

    Also, some ad locations I don't agree with. Such as a homescreen widget with a visible ad. Swapps! free, for example has an ad at the bottom when you slide the panel out from the side. Keeping an ad in the settings panel is OK.

    • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

      You can still install an adblocking extension on Firefox for Android if you only want to block ads in the browser. :)

      • http://www.baronsofbullshit.com/ seriosbrad

        Good point. But I'm a Chrome fanboy lol. Where is Android Chrome extension support?!

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          They haven't even sorted nagging issues on Chrome for Android.. extensions would be a bad idea right now.

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    How about educating the devs about non-intrusive ads? If the ads don't double my data usage and don't spoil the whole experience while taking up a third of my display with horribly ugly banners, I wouldn't really mind at all.
    Now, the web? That's another story! Ads lengthen page load times, often cripple the browsing experience, esp when display real estate is limited. If ads didn't affect all that, I wouldn't mind them at all. If I like an app, I almost always, buy the paid version or send the dev a small donation (where possible) if there's no paid version. I feel obliged to do that. Everyone deserves to compensated for their time and effort. But ugly, intrusive ads that ruin my experience and suck my data are not welcome and I will keep finding ways to terminate them.

    • Sheng Jiang

      you do know devs rent out screen place, they don't write the ad themselves right?

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        Erm.. no I didn't know that! /s

        You have the control over who/what you're renting your space out to.

        • aiden9

          Maybe if you're Google, Facebook or any other advertisement agency but as a dev your only choice really is the agency you pick to work with(Google obviously being the easiest to implement on Android).

        • Sheng Jiang

          Just let the dev know how you feel, I know devs switched ad providers due to user feedback.

  • Ray

    I'll definitely be keeping a backup of AdAway now!

    I have no problems paying for apps and have paid and donated to developers in the past. Nothing pisses me off more when I've paid for an app, also made a small donation, left positive feedback on Google Play etc - which I've done a number of times now, only to find that 6 months later the developer gets greedy, new permissions get added to the app and the ads start flowing in. Obviously some people disagree with that and will tell me to suck it up but I shouldn't have too, especially when the paid version is clearly marked as being a ad-free.

  • Jamie

    This is going to be popular Google - Not!!

    Good thing with Android plenty of stores.

    Google has form - Youtube and flv downloader apps have suffered the same fate and plentyful elsewhere now

  • Aaron Stevens

    I don't get the F-Droid thing, couldn't AdAway just directly link to the APK from their website instead? (http://code.google.com/p/ad-away/)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      I guess he wanted to host it on a non-Google provider.

  • jamie
  • Stephen Sevenyoln

    Google does do evil O_O.
    Use Windows Phone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Here is the direct link to Adaway, https://f-droid.org/repo/org.adaway_40.apk which will download the APK for you for you to sideload. You can also grab a source tarball from F-Droid (I personally try to avoid those when I can) if you like those sorts of things.

  • http://sushubh.net/ chromaniac

    Anyone criticizing this move. You are reading this on a website that is most likely funded by online advertising. So, maybe... Think about all the web services that are powered with online advertising. Can you live without them?

  • bobbutts

    I'll block whatever networks I want, and that's pretty much always ad networks. It's nice that so many people like to view ads and brag about it to show their support of beloved devs, but that's not my thing. Mainly this should just boost markets and sites where people can sideload these apps.

  • Aidan Cheddar

    This is why it's a good thing you can have alternative app stores!

  • http://profiles.google.com/keithdtyler Keith Tyler

    The end of Google Play App Store. The king is dead. Long live the king.

    • Aidan Cheddar

      There's this thing called side-loading, ever heard of it?

  • spydie

    this website doesn't exist... try again: (https://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk) and install AdAway with F-Droid.

    • Matthew Fry

      the link has a parenthesis in it.

  • Mathieu

    Wow, it's going to take like 10 seconds to download an adblocker apk from outside Google Play #firstworldproblem

    (disclosure: I don't actually block ads on my Android devices)

  • http://www.facebook.com/fredrikkarlsson1 Fredrik Karlsson

    Ad-blcokers does not interfere with services they Enhace them. Interfere means in a negative way. SInce the user want them it is not negative.

    • http://twitter.com/Rovex Rovex

      No it doesn't. Interfere means modify in this context, for good or bad.

  • Jeff

    It might be better to think of it this way: You get an app. Maybe you pay for it, maybe you don't. If you like the app, have the ads and ignore them. It's free money for the developers. Then the developers can have money to make more apps, which you may or may not pay for.

    If you paid for an app to remove ads and only that, great! You just gave away money for no reason. I'd question your decision to make said purchase or the developer's decision to offer said option, but at the end of the day the market has decided that this is a good thing to buy and sell.

    If you paid for an app and it didn't remove the ads, so what? You probably paid for something not related to the ads, like new levels in a game or something. If you paid for an app and got nothing in return, then you were scammed and you should go looking for a refund.

    I fail to see why this would ever be an issue. Stop being so petty, ignore the ads, support the developers (like me, so I can pay off my student loans).

    • Dan Andersen

      Fsck you!

      • John O’Connor

        I understand what you are trying to say. I am specifically speaking about apps that you have paid to remove ads from specifically. I have no problem paying for apps as I purchase many apps in the $12-$50 range. I am all for supporting developers and aim to develop some apps of my own. I know there are a large number of cheap users out there who will complain about free or even cheap apps and I discount and ignore their complaints as well as any forum regular. There is however a segment of users who expect that a developer goes by their word without adding additional revenue streams at a future date that lump free users with previously excluded and paying users.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bewinxed Omar Al Matar

    Rightous, I'd say

  • ProJ

    Android sorely need something like Proxomitron

  • patapongirl

    This is sad. Urgh!

  • blood_fart
  • Matthew Fry

    You gotta love these polarizing issues. Lots of talking but not much in the way of understanding.

  • nukeblitz

    Can't you still sideload? Or just use a hosts file - which is what adaway does anyway?

    I don't think this is a big deal - plus google is right to remove them from the play store - they do affect devs.

  • Matthew Christy

    Hey now, lets calm down and be rational. Google has a responsibility to it's devs to protect their profits, if Google ignores this responsibility we will lose willing devs. It's not like this is the end of the world, we can still sideload anything we want without root. It's not like we're on iOS here.

  • http://twitter.com/Lammjr Lamm

    I hate ads, I don't care if someone is going to lose money because I'm blocking their ads.

    I don't really have a problem with minimal ads, but those fucking banners that pop up in front of what I'm trying to read, GOD DAMN IT, I'll keep blocking those with the force of a thousand suns, whether google likes it or not. And that goes double for facebook and their Iframes and recomendation tabs, GOD I HATE pop ups.

  • http://twitter.com/tamalm Tamal Mukherjee

    But...you can always install this APKs directly from vendors site or third-party stores, right?

  • http://twitter.com/Rovex Rovex

    I freely and proudly admit to using blockers on any and every device i can. Its not until you disable them that you realise how monumentally UGLY the internet is with ads all over it. They are SO in your face and offensive.
    The worst are videos ads you have to watch before seeing content. Who came up with that idea? They are SO hateful that any product on them is instantly on the dont buy list.

    This latest move is even more reason to use custom ROMs with adblockers pre-installed.

  • maverick

    ABOUT THE DISCOURSE ON PIRACY, IF GOOGLE ALLOWS PAYMENT THROUGH DEBIT CARD IN MY COUNTRY, I'LL HAPPILY PAY FOR APPS. BUT YOU SEE GOOGLE IS SUCH AN @$$H0!E THAT IT DOESN'T ALLOW ANY OTHER PAYMENT METHODS BUT CREDIT CARDS.

    I COULDN'T FIND ANY OTHER MEANS TO SHOUT IT OUT LOUD OTHER THAN USING capti
    al LETTERS.

    • Undroid

      No need to shout, dude. We get it.

  • maverick

    ABOUT THE DISCOURSE ON PIRACY, IF GOOGLE ALLOWS PAYMENT THROUGH DEBIT CARD IN MY COUNTRY, I'LL HAPPILY PAY FOR APPS. BUT YOU SEE GOOGLE IS SUCH AN @$$H0!E THAT IT DOESN'T ALLOW ANY OTHER PAYMENT METHODS BUT CREDIT CARDS.

    I COULDN'T FIND ANY OTHER MEANS TO SHOUT IT OUT LOUD OTHER THAN USING capti
    al LETTERS.

  • primalxconvoy

    I've never really gotten any adblockers to work on my non rooted phone, so I won't miss these apps. Regardless, sideloading is a great feature, isn't it?

  • Tony Jackson

    Who give a crap, click the damn ad and give something back for free app that you're using,
    If its a paid app that double dips, hopefully you not get caught with that bag if sh!te as you'll have read the reviews, but if not grab your refund

  • SockRolid

    $12.5 billion in the hole after the Motorola acquisition.
    96% of Google's revenue comes from ads.
    Do. The. Math.

    • Undroid

      Targeted ads. Google gets targeting information from all the dunderheads using Android Spyware devices - WILLINGLY! It's pure genius.

  • http://www.macegraphic.com/ Lucas Mace

    OPEN

  • colormedisappointed

    So this is the new definition of "open". Andy Rubin must be spinning in his grave.

    • KarjamP

      Their operating system may be, but not the app store.

      That's why you don't get the app store on unofficial builds of Android: its license forbids it.

      Who says the components of an OS can be open source anyway? (especially since both GPL {which is the license of its kernels} and the Artistic License {the license for most of the rest of the stuff that make the OS} allows you to use propitiatory stuff with it as long as they're not part of the stuff that's on those license. And Google Play's technically not officially part of the OS).

  • Dan Andersen

    This is bullish!t. Everyone knows Android is Open™.

  • Jason

    Open! Free!

  • What Thuh

    Google isnt Google anymore. They are the biggest Adpusher.

  • Zombie Killer

    The sky is not falling. You are still free to install this software if you like. Remember that the android market is not being sold as a free for all, where you can buy guns and kiddy pr0n, or anything else contrary to google's best interests... but the important thing to consider is that this is the Android operating system we are talking about, you can install software from ANY source. Its not on android market? Ok, go install it from the software vendor's website. All you need is a hyperlink to the apk file, click it with your browser on Android, and follow the instructions to install it.

    If Android was closed like apple is, where you are not free to install software from outside their distribution network, THEN I would be worried, however, this is very very far from the case.

    Just to make this really easy, these aren't even complicated programs. Nothing special at all, and nothing resulting from many hours of development. All they do is add items to the device's "hosts" file located at /system/etc/hosts. This file adds DNS bypasses for all the host names listed in the file and points them to "localhost", that way when the different applications call out to the ad servers, they get a reference to the local device, which isn't even running a webserver, so returns nothing at all. These hosts files are free and available all over the internet. Just... "google" for it ;-)

    • http://www.greinr.com/ @ThomasGreiner

      It's not impossible but the barrier to entry has become too high for regular people to be able to download apps which are not on the Play store.

      This might apply for most ad blockers but Adblock Plus creates a proxy on the device to block out ads. That's quite a sophisticated approach and much more difficult to develop and maintain but it allows even users without a rooted device to block ads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1481291440 Steven Causey

    Scr3w YOU GOOGLE. I have supported you for the last time. And people like me MADE YOU. Every time I setup a system from today forward, Ill leave the default search engine alone. I suggest all us geeks do the same. They will feel that dent eventually.

    • http://happyhollartraylerparkrednecks.com/ What Thuh

      Every since scroolge wouldnt even help with my account issues,ive switchrd to Bing Search. Its been my primary search at home AND work from then on

      GooglePAY will never get their hands on my bank account

  • hater

    yes, kill all apps, nobody need this f*****g apps, yust use html5 and it will works on each device... noobs

  • Proximodo can block ads

    Well f.ck google with a loop back proxy. This ad blocking predates extensions.

    Prohibition also ALWAYS creates a black market muahaha

    Thanks google for creating a new generation of CRACKERS

  • http://www.WeboLobby.com/ Aniruddh D

    Hi just try to search in play store for adaway & adblock plus and install it via play store and looks like scam to me as instead of blocking ads its bombarding ads and forcing user to rate it 5 star then only user can use it at first start. I guess all the app by this devloper doing the same thing. I don't know how this end up in play store but I think you should update this article as I adaway is doing different & suspicious things.

    • KarjamP

      You could be using a fake version of those apps.

  • http://jambhu.blogspot.com/ Timnas Indonesia

    You have 15 minutes to refund an app. if you buy a paid app and see it
    still has ads, leave a bad review of your experience and refund it...
    Timnas Indonesia

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