While millions of us continue to use ad blocking software on our desktop browsers, our options were limited on mobile. Samsung is doing something about that by enabling ad and content blocking on its default mobile browser. Following Apple’s move last September to allow ad blocking in Safari, Samsung, its biggest competitor, is now doing the same.
The shift away from intrusive internet advertising is gathering pace albeit very slowly. In the meantime, computer users take matters into their own hands and use content and ad blocking apps. These streamline the user experience and sends an important message to the advertising industry.
Android phones running the default Samsung Internet browser can now install ad blocking extensions to the browser in the same way you add others. Most Samsung phones running Android Marshmallow should see the update already, or within the next week or two as updates began last week. Lollipop updates should follow shortly.
Popular extensions include Adblock Fast and Crystal, both of which are available now. Adblock Fast says it can speed up web page loading times by up to 51% while freeing up the screen for legitimate content. If that isn’t a good reason to try it, we don’t know what is!
Ads on mobile
As well as being annoying, poorly optimised adverts take up screen space, slows down the loading time of web pages and use up some of your mobile data allowance. So as well as being annoying and getting in the way of the user experience, they could also cost your business money.
What is surprising is that while ad blocking on the desktop is huge, it isn’t so popular on mobile. Given how some ads take up so much space on the small screen, we find that strange. It’s likely that it is because Chrome doesn’t yet support ad blocking, iOS has only just allowed it and Samsung is one of the first manufacturers to enable it. Savvy Android users will likely use Chrome rather than Samsung Internet too, which may slow uptake.
However, ad blocking on mobiles is well worth experimenting with. Not only can it free up valuable screen real estate, it can help avoid the developing trade in mobile malware. Just like on the desktop, infected websites could deliver malicious code through infected adverts. The prevention of this is an essential part of any defence strategy.
While mobile infections from infected websites are rare, it’s an emerging threat and one that ad blocking can play a part in avoiding.
Anything manufacturers can do to improve the user experience of their products is a good thing. If that initiative also increases security, lowers page load times and lessens the data overhead of a given page, we’re all for it!