Adblock Plus, the popular addon for desktop browsers, has been released for Android. Firefox for Android, Chrome, and Safari already have an Adblock Plus extension available but this app allows ads to be blocked across the system in multiple browsers and other apps. Due to restrictions in the architecture of Android, a non-rooted phone with Android 3.1 or higher can only block ads through its WiFi connection while rooted phones will be able to block ads on all connections.
Clearly this has implications on the health of the platform. If applications become less profitable due to adblocking, perhaps there will be less apps developed for it. The number of apps available can be a competitive advantage when comparing one platform to another (iOS vs Android vs Windows Phone, for example). Instead, perhaps developers will have to do away with free versions of their ad-supported apps and switch to only charging for ad-free apps.
To get the app for your Android device, you will find it in Google Play.
Reviews have been generally positive so far. The main lingering complaint is that an icon appears in the notification bar. From the FAQ:
How can I make the icon in the notification area go away?
We hear you, the icon is a bit annoying. But right now, it has to be there – otherwise the Android system will just stop the app, and it won’t be able to block ads anymore. We’ll continue to look for ways to make it optional.
The other quirk with the app is that it funnels all traffic through itself as a proxy, so the Android metering might look like Adblock Plus is to blame for consuming a large amount of data but it’s actually all your data usage summarized to a single application.