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5

Google adds more personalization options to its Ads Settings tool

Back in 2016, Google introduced a new tool which allowed users to further personalize the ads they saw online. It was a win-win, Google got to increase the effectiveness of its advertising, and you got to ensure (within limits) that they were a bit more useful. Apparently, this change was worth it, as Google is doubling down by introducing even more new settings options for advertisements, like disabling "reminder" ads and synchronizing "Mute This Ad" settings across devices.

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70

Google raises the bar for monetizing videos on YouTube [Update]

It's no easy feat to keep YouTube respectable enough for big advertisers when it relies entirely on user-created content from legions of video makers. Advertisers have complained to Google with increasing regularity when their ads show up alongside content that's inappropriate or just plain creepy. Google's solution is a change to the YouTube Partners Program (YPP) that will make it harder for small channels to monetize videos.

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43

YouTube v13.01 continues development on dark mode, may enable swipe-to-skip ads, and relocates autoplay setting [APK Teardown]

YouTube just took a big version jump from v12.49 to v13.01, but you probably won't notice a lot of changes if you're just tapping around. In fact, this update appears to be pretty average for most of YouTube's releases, which usually include a couple tweaks here and there, and sometimes some interesting material for a teardown – and this update has both. You'll find a new page in the Settings screen for autoplay options, and a teardown turns up some inspiring progress on a dark mode and possibly an adjustment to the ad-skipping experience.

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108

Google reveals how Chrome's ad-blocker will work when it goes live February 15th

Advertising is the lifeblood of Google, so the company has always had an understandably awkward relationship with ad-blocking software. Google seems to understand why people use ad-blockers, though. There are a lot of terrible ads out there, but blocking them all is bad for Google. That's why Chrome is getting an ad-blocker for "bad ads" soon, and now we know how it'll work.

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77

Google finally bans apps that include shady lock screen ads from the Play Store

Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store.

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44

[Update: It's back] UC Browser temporarily removed from Play Store due to setting "not in line with Google's policy"

UC Browser is massively popular in India, with over 500 million installs on the Play Store. But just two days ago, the app was removed from the store. Now it appears that a setting in the browser itself, rather than rumored data theft or misleading promotions, is the reason it has been removed.

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112

[Update: You can turn it on now] Chrome 64 will block those pesky redirecting ads everyone hates

Over the past few months, we've received dozens of complaints about redirecting ads on this site, which we have been repeatedly reporting to our ad networks. The problem ultimately comes down to rogue ads being published through common ad networks (even 'safe' ones like AdSense and AdX), which then show up on sites like ours. When the ads load, they hijack the parent page to load a misleading message, like the one pictured above, often while turning on the device's vibration motor to make it seem more realistic.

Most ad networks don't have any kind of manual review process, making this behavior difficult to pinpoint, and the ad's code can even be obfuscated to hide the malicious behavior.

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51

Google will now allow real-money gambling apps on the Play Store in the UK, Ireland, and France

Last month, we heard rumors that Google was planning to relax its ban on real-money gambling apps in the Play Store, but after reaching out to Google we didn't get a response either way. With an update to its developer policy page, Google has now confirmed that some of these apps are going to be allowed on the Play Store in the UK, Ireland, and France.

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203

[Update: HTC is working on a fix] HTC's TouchPal Keyboard has started to show ads to users

There are a few places where advertising is acceptable. Your phone's keyboard is definitely not one of them. The TouchPal keyboard, which HTC ships as the default system keyboard on many of its phones, has been updated to display ads.

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346

Weekend poll: Would you be interested in an Android Police "premium" subscription that removes ads?

Late last week, we announced that we were ending our trial run of Google's Contributor 2.0 platform. The system, which sounds great in theory, allows readers of a website to remove ads from it in exchange for paying a small amount of money per pageview. In reality, the system is quite buggy and presents a number of serious user experience issues, and as such, we've decided that it's not worth the headache.

However, on that post, many of you asked why we weren't able to offer an ad-free Android Police experience in exchange for a subscription-based fee. The answer to that, for now, is that such a system is rather complicated to set up, but we do want to gauge interest in such a thing among you, our readers.

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