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Samsung's Android browser can now block ads

The company will enable ad filters in the Samsung Internet browser from today.
Matt Brian, @m4tt
February 1, 2016
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Ad blocking, it appears, is no longer just reserved for app developers -- device makers are getting in on the act too. After Apple led the way and ASUS recently announcing it would begin shipping devices with its own ad blocking software, The Verge reports that Samsung has enabled filters inside its pre-installed Android browser. It'll basically allow device owners to choose the ad units they see and render websites a lot quicker in the process.

Instead of going it alone, Samsung has opened an API and allowed app developer Rocketship to enable Adblock Fast inside the Samsung Internet browser. The app is already available on iOS, as well as Chrome and Opera, but the Korean electronics giant will enable ad blocking functionality inside its browser via an over-the-air update that will roll out from today.

To utilise Adblock Fast today, users need a Samsung device that runs Android Marshmallow (Lollipop support will roll out in the coming months). Samsung Internet should already be enabled, but the app is also available as a standalone download on the Play Store. Once those boxes are ticked, it's a simple case of downloading Adblock Fast from the Play Store and enabling it.

Now that Apple and Samsung have opened their browsers, hundreds of millions of smartphone owners are a just a couple of screen presses away from enabling web filters on their device. The promise of 50-percent faster loading times will definitely appeal, but neither Samsung or Rocketship note that blocking ads could impact publishers' ability to generate income and continue sharing "free" content.

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