Google has reversed the ban of ad blockers from the Play Store. In early February, Google pulled out many ad blockers including Adblock Fast, which has now been restored for Samsung's Android browser.
Rocketship, the developer of Adblock Fast, made an appeal for Google to re-approve and re-publish Adblock Fast on the Play Store. It worked.
"Last Monday, though, Google rejected an app update we submitted. Last Tuesday, they removed Adblock Fast from the Play store altogether," says Rocketship. "We submitted an appeal on the Monday our update was rejected and we're happy to report that Google has reversed their decision, both accepting our appeal in an email sent to us on Friday evening and approving and re-publishing Adblock Fast by the time we woke up this morning."
The app developer also highlighted that Adblock Fast is not only back on the Play Store but Rocketship is also able to update it, which extends support to Android devices running on Android 4.0.
Google's decision to reinstate the ad-blocking app seems like a change of course for the company. TechCrunch cites sources familiar with the matter and reports that Google's original decision of pulling out ad blockers was to support only mobile browsers, which could block ads.
Google decided that standalone ad-blocking apps, which are distributed through APKs such as Adblock Fast and Crystal, will not be permitted on the Play Store under the new guidelines. These apps had emerged after Samsung introduced support for ad blocking in its own browser.
Google's policy of banning ad blocking apps has also been criticized by experts. Adblock Fast was kicked out of the Play Store under the new guidelines but Crystal still appeared in the store. However, developers of Crystal were not allowed to update the app.
Dean Murphy, the developer of Crystal, says that Google has not accepted the update requests made for Crystal. Google is yet to offer any clarification on the matter.
Customers who want to install Adblock Fast can find the app as a free download from the Play Store.
"You can now block ads without rooting your device or switching to another browser!" says the product description of Adblock Fast on the Play Store. "Adblock Fast runs an optimized filtering ruleset to accelerate webpages more but consume less disk space, CPU cycles and memory than other ad blockers do. Also unlike other ad blockers, Adblock Fast doesn't allow 'acceptable ads' and never will."
The download file weighs only 6.9 MB. Users should have Android 4.0 or above to run the app.