back to article Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

Ad blocking may prompt fearful publishers to seek help from consultancies, but it isn't actually interfering with the delivery of ads on mobile devices. According to Augustine Fou – a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher who runs Marketing Science, an ad consultancy – the actual rate of ad blocking on mobile devices in the US …

  1. Thomas Wolf

    I don’t get the author’s comment about ad blocking: he says that iOS 9 introduced support for ad blocking...but people just revert to the default browser...Safari and Chrome?!!! Wasn’t it Safari on iOS 9 where Apple added said ad-blocking support??? As we speak, I have 2 installed (although I have to admit they don’t seem to be blocking all that much).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Safari blocks the worst of the ads

      I just picked an ad blocker at random a couple months after the facility became available with iOS 9 - I couldn't even tell you the name of the one I'm using without looking, or if there's something better about. I have no idea how it is deciding what ads to block, but I'll see pages that have panels reading "advertisement" here and there which presumably are the blocked ones, but there are also some ads left in place.

      There's a great way to tell how well it actually works though: Facebook. When you follow links in the Facebook app you're using Facebook's built-in browser. It uses WebKit for rendering but doesn't invoke Safari's support for ad blocking. You see all the horrible ads in all their glory, including all the ads that pull you into a different page you can't escape (you can hit Facebook's back arrow at the top left to leave its browser, but then if you go back to the link you have lost your place) that tells you "you won" or shows a roulette wheel type thing...I don't really pay attention because I rarely see that since I got the ad blocker. It is also much slower browsing in Facebook - not sure if that's because Safari is faster, or all that crappy ads are slowing things down.

      If you try to read a site using such mal-adware (is there a name for ads that steal you from the page you want?) it is impossible if it requires hitting "next" a dozen times to read the whole thing, like "listicles" will do. You'll get pulled off your page before you can get through it, and then if you go back you'll be at the start again! However, if you use the "open in Safari" option and read it there, it works perfectly. Even better than perfect for pages that support 'reader mode' so it is all in one page with ALL the ads gone. I've never once had an ad steal me to a different page there, either the ad blocker is getting them all or Safari itself has built in protection for ads trying to pull you to another page. It is night and day different.

      I know some people hate Apple's control freakery, but one place they could exert some positive control (well positive for users, not for mal-adware scammers or Facebook's bank account) is to require every app using the WebKit framework to use the available adblockers like Safari does.

    2. Gordan

      AdAway

      I'm quite certain it does exist, and while not as advanced as full fat desktop variants, it is definitely effective.

      For example:

      https://f-droid.org/packages/org.adaway/

      Additionally, AdNauseam (and uBlock [Origin]) plugins work just fine on Firefox for Android.

  2. Tromos

    Needs more work

    "About 43 per cent of mobile display ad impressions are fraudulent"

    Disappointing. We must aim to get this up to at least 98%.

    1. Andytug

      Re: Needs more work

      That seems to fit rather nicely with the chap who said something like "I know I waste half of my advertising money. The problem is I don't know which half......."

  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    FAIL

    Finally I'm the 1%

    I run Firefox on Android with Ublock Origin installed, so I guess I'm in that ~0%. Giving Firefox Focus a try now, though.

    1. src

      Re: Finally I'm the 1%

      I use Firefox and Ublock Origin as well. Works fine. Another good thing about Firefox for Android is that via "about:config" you can set minimum font sizes.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Finally I'm the 1%

      I use Firefox and the Ghostery plugin for it. It does a bang up job blocking ads and such, just like on a desktop.

    3. DropBear

      Re: Finally I'm the 1%

      I'm using AdAway, blocking everything at system level - no ads in any browser OR any app. Wouldn't use a smartphone without it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finally I'm the 1%

        So, in a few short posts we've got recommendations for Ublock, Ghostery and AdAway. I use two of those, but how many of us pay for these? And if people don't, how does it all hang together?

        Individually, some of us can probably say "I pay, I do!", but that's still not true of the majority of users of these add ons. So what's the catch?

        1. Adam 1

          Re: Finally I'm the 1%

          uBlock origin (for example) is on github and is GPLv3. The moment they stay any funny business will be the same moment the project gets forked. Whilst I'm sure they would appreciate your donations (and need some), the amount they actually need to survive and even thrive works out to be a very small amount by a very small percentage of users.

          Asking "how does this thing make money" is never a bad idea though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't exist.. my ass..

    The only real issue is to do it meticulously requires a device to be rooted, so novices beware and ensure you accept the risk.

    I've rooted all my devices for the past several years and enjoy an ad free experience even for most native applications.. but I've had to spend many long hours fixing a bricked phone after an upgrade as gone wrong. Is it worth it, hell yes.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Big Brother

      Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

      Same here, but I've recently noticed apps detecting rooted devices and refusing to run. Most recently it was the Tesco PayQwik one, which is even worse because when I installed it there was no problem, it's just an update that now throws a fit. The message waffles on about the phone being more susceptible to malware because it's rooted. Some banking or finance app did it a while back too, can't remember which now because, err, it never made it to my phone.

      1. stephanh

        Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

        You don't need to root your device to block ads, just use e.g. Firefox as your browser.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

          That only works within Firefox though. As above, I use Firefox with ublock and it does the job. All of the other apps I use are ad-free because if they're not, they get uninstalled.

          I'm happy enough with the situation. If advertisers get to spam the majority of the population then that's fine by me, as long as I don't have to waste my screen space on annoying flashy graphics that I'll never click on.

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

          Though you need root privs to do the mobe equivalent of editing hosts file to "kill" various ad serving domains- lots of us like to fix some ad issues at that level, as then it's less relevant what browser you use,

      2. Updraft102

        Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

        There are other root apps that claim to be able to hide the root status from other apps.

      3. SadPanda

        Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

        It's not really necessary to root. There is DNS66 which is basically a local proxy with a hosts file. It doesn't require root, but can't be used if you need a VPN.

    2. Oh Homer

      Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

      Yup. Root -> Xposed -> AdAway -> AdBlocker Reborn.

      Done.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

      > The only real issue is to do it meticulously requires a device to be rooted, so novices beware and ensure you accept the risk.

      Assuming stock Android or LineageOS (ex-Cyanogenmod), root is not strictly necessary if the user is capable of "freezing" so-called non-uninstallable apps and uses only ad- and tracking-free applications from F-Droid. Of course, if you are misguided enough to have a phone from a certain South Korean manufacturer, you're shafted.

      Personally, I will not own any computers that I cannot gain root access to, and that includes phones. All mine are rooted, do not have a Google account (I myself don't), all the Google applications are removed, and of course I do not have any so-called "social media" accounts. Oh, and back to the point, the mobile browsers all have uBlock Origin installed: works a charm.

    4. NonSSL-Login

      Re: Doesn't exist.. my ass..

      Adguard for android gets around having to have root to ad-block all traffic by pushing traffic through a pretend VPN connection on the phone. Neat little trick, just can't be used at the same time as a real VPN on your phone, which is not an issue for most users.

      As stupid as this sounds, I carry around two phones these days. One rooted, xposed, ad-free but also with some security software and other apps that require root. The second phone as much as I would like to root, I run banking apps, android pay and media streaming that refuse to work on rooted phone.

      Running banking apps on my rooted for years before getting a new phone was safer as ads were blocked at such a low level that there was no chance of malware-laden ads infecting me with a drive by exploit. Then the banks updated their apps to not work with root...barstewards.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    I use Firefox Focus and Opera Mini for nearly all my mobile browsing, both of which have built-in ad-blocking. I use them because they are so much better and faster than Chrome. I don't know anyone else who uses anything but the default browser though.

  6. Jamesit

    On my phone I use Firefox and ublock origin I disabled Chrome. I don't see any ads.

  7. Tim99 Silver badge
    Gimp

    iOS Safari

    I don't see adverts since installing a blocker app: Purify ($1.99). An on/off button on the taskbar would be good (Against Apple rules?).

    For particularly troublesome sites, I turn Javascript off.

    1. Justin Clift

      Re: iOS Safari

      Tried out "Firefox Focus" on iOS a few days ago... but it doesn't seem to support tabs (or at least I couldn't find them) so was pretty useless.

      Went to delete it then discovered that it can provide ad blocking for Safari. So enabled that, fired up Safari... and no ads on things. And that has tabs.

      It's kind of weird that Firefox Focus makes Safari usable, and well, it works so no worries. :)

  8. Big-nosed Pengie

    No ads for me since I installed Adguard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      adguard +1

      Ghostery & AdBlock browser also good ...

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. stephanh

      Re: I just want to point out

      I use Firefox on Android all the time and never had any issue with it. Performance seems comparable to Chrome.

      1. david bates

        Re: I just want to point out

        Firefox seems a lot faster than Chrome to me.

        Manys the time I've opened something in Chrome, given up after a few seconds and reverted to Firefox.

    2. To Mars in Man Bras!

      Re: I just want to point out

      Same here [re Firefox on Android]. Luckily my phone is rooted and I have AdAway installed which does it properly [and system-wide] by blocking ads/etc at the hosts file.

      So I can use Chrome [or any other apps I want] and still never see any ads

      1. To Mars in Man Bras!
        Facepalm

        Re: I just want to point out

        BTW —my "same here" above referred to finding "...Firefox fucking unusable on Android". But unfortunately, due to the vagaries of The Reg's idiotic 'random shuffle' comments system, it appears after people praising Firefox, so looks like I'm saying the opposite.

        Just thought I'd set the [extremely unimportant] record straight.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I just want to point out

      Firefox seems fine to me. With Ublock Origin, it keeps the adverts away.

      And here's the thing, I have had adverts attempt to STEAL from me - I would visit a page and get those messages that my phone has a billion viruses, forced downloads of apks of tainted software, all followed by a text message from Orange saying something like my Internet+ transaction could not be completed because I have disabled the service. WTF? So even if Firefox was "fucking unusable" on my device, which it very much isn't, I would stick with it because...fuck advertisers. And fuck sites that beg, grovel, and try to guilt me into allowing advertising for them when they're happy to use the same sleazy advertisers that I'm trying to avoid.

    4. Chika
      Coat

      Re: I just want to point out

      that firefox is fucking unusable on Android.

      It is? I've been using it for quite some time. Seems to work fine here. Which version of Android are you using and on which phone? Sounds like a localised problem rather than a general one.

      I'm like a die hard Stallman like hippy, rooted phone, droid-wall, write software for it myself - and this is the only place I use Chrome (as such I don't use it for much) but firefox is fucking unusably slow. It's awful.

      I've used Firefox on more than one phone, rooted and not. And yes, I mostly started using Firefox on my phone because it was possible to stop ads where other browsers didn't offer the same capability. OK, that was a long time ago, but it still works.

      I've actually started to wonder if the PC situation is similar and looked for a degoogled version of Chrome.

      Hmm. Now if you take the PC approach, I use all three major browsers and have even dabbled with Opera. There's not a lot of difference overall; you'll find slight differences in each that may persuade you to use one over another but that's about it right now. How this will change is another matter - I'm a little sceptical about the oncoming changes in Firefox 57, for example.

      It's inexplicably crap. Surely they know about this? But it's been crap since 2012.

      That sounds like you haven't tried it since then. Not every version of Firefox has been good, just as not every version of any browser has been good, but I'm using a version right now that works pretty well so I'd be a little cautious about flinging crap about like that. It makes you sound like a Google shill.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I just want to point out

        > but I'm using a version right now that works pretty well

        Out of curiosity, how heavily customised is your user.js? Hyperbole apart, I tend to agree with the chap above that out of the box Firefox is fucking unusable, on every platform, if you care about security and privacy. Of course if your requirements do not cover either then not much tweaking is needed and your experience may be closer to test coverage cases.

        For me it's a case of the devil you know, but I for one would like to see the Mozilla Corp... ahem... "Foundation" disappear and the project be led in a more Linux-like fashion.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: I just want to point out

          "and the project be led in a more Linux-like fashion"

          Now, is that the Linux with or without systemd?

  10. John Robson Silver badge

    1Blocker here

    But I suspect that elreg readers are in a minority smaller than 1%, and I'm not even in Canada/USofA

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try pihole....

    https://pi-hole.net

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Try pihole....

      I was just going to mention that one, I use it for all the tablets at home, my phone runs cm and an adblocker, can't remember which one without checking as it's been that long since I installed it or saw an ad. I also run a firewall which lets me choose which network apps can access, very useful.

      All the apps on all the devices work and you still do get some ads but they are the ones served by the app themselves so no annoying videos etc...

    2. K
      Pint

      Re: Try pihole....

      Good post.. but any pointers to installing it on android? If it's Linux only, or requires root, it won't be of much use to your average user.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Try pihole....

        It's an AdBlock for your LAN. The equivalent for an Android phone is AdAway. If you don't have root on your phone then Firefox + uBlock Origin will do.

        It's nicer to disable ad blocking for certain sites you read regularly (as long as they don't serve up malvertising).

  12. Richy Freeway

    Block This

    https://block-this.com/

    Runs a local VPN on your Android phone and routes all traffic through it, stripping the ads along the way.

    To be honest though I haven't thought to reinstall it since resetting my phone last time, not sure why.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Root Firewall

    I use this to block ads on software that definitely don't need Internet access, such as calculators, torches and the like. For Internet web browsing, Firefox and Ublock Origin.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No Root Firewall

      Why don't you just use a calculator or torch that doesn't need Internet access?

      1. DropBear

        Re: No Root Firewall

        Sage advice, but these days it's quite literally only calculator or torch apps that don't insist on having Internet access, and I'm not even sure about those either these days... there are entire classes of apps I have to stay away from because no matter how long you search, there's not a single one that doesn't want everything all the way to your sock size.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: No Root Firewall

          Well, there's always F-Droid.

  14. Not also known as SC

    iOS

    I'm stuck with an iphone at the moment. The only way of blocking ads I've found is to disable javascript in the options. Most websites are still usable and the ones which aren't I just don't visit. A fringe benefit apart from no ads is that I don't seem to get auto-playing videos in the middle of the page any more.

    1. Martin-R

      Re: iOS

      AdBlock Plus installed as a Safari Content Blocker seems to just work for me - no root, no hassle, no ads!

      1. Not also known as SC

        Re: iOS

        I'll give that a try.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iOS

      There are plenty of adblockers for iOS. I just checked and I use Firefox Focus (it is a browser but also functions as an adblocker)

      It looks like iOS can support more than one at once, even. I honestly haven't checked into this at all since iOS 9 added the support because what few ads do get through when I'm browsing with Safari are not problematic as far as I'm concerned. I don't need perfection, just a good browsing experience, which Firefox Focus seems to provide (and I didn't have to disable Javascript)

  15. David Roberts

    Opera Mini here

    Chrome and Firefox used to be fine on my Sony Xperia Z tablet (the original one) but gradually got slower and slower with soft keyboard and URL click through problems.

    Full fat Opera was no better but so far Opera Mini seems to do the job.

    I do wonder if the ad funded apps are swamping the numbers.

  16. davidp231

    Three did an experiment last year - they trialled blocking ads at the network level. Worked a treat when I took part in the trial.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      I assume the trial ended after Google and Facebook sent some large men in dark suits with a suitcase of cash in one hand and a hammer in the other, who said "which would you prefer?"

      1. Updraft102

        Was it at least a really cool hammer like Mjolnir? If it's just a regular hammer, I can get one of those anywhere... I'm taking the cash.

      2. Tim Seventh
        Trollface

        some large men in dark suits with a suitcase of cash in one hand and a hammer in the other, who said "which would you prefer?"

        Guy 1: I'll take the cash.

        The men then thrown the suitcase of cash to Guy 1, knocking him on the floor unconscious with the suitcase.

        Guy 2: HA! Owned. I'll take the hammer.

        The men then thrown the hammer to Guy 2, knocking him on the floor unconscious with the hammer.

        Guy 3: I'll take your dark suits.

        The large men took off their suits, and thrown the suits to Guy 3. Guy 3 remained conscious and picked up the suits, the suitcase and the hammer.

        Guy 3: Thanks for everything.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Network-provider ad blocking - great concept, but $$$.

      I remember Three's plans being reported in various places last year (including right here) and e.g.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/three-uk-to-block-ads-across-its-mobile-network-a7049511.html

      What wasn't quite so widely reported was the family connection between the adblock technology provider and Three's parent company: Li Ka-Shing is involved with both:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/02/18/mobile-giant-three-to-block-online-advertising/

      I don't remember seeing any reports of the abandonment of the trial, not anywhere I visit regularly anyway. I found one just now:

      http://uk.businessinsider.com/three-decides-not-to-launch-ad-blocking-for-consumers-2016-11

      Oh well. Pioneering UK ISP Metronet used to have an optional network-level transparent proxy on their DSL services which offered options like content filtering by category (adverts, adult, etc) and also did data compression on the fly for graphics and other readily compressible stuff. I miss Metronet.

      As mentioned elsewhere, PiHole is neat, in the right circumstances:

      https://pi-hole.net/

      1. Justin Clift

        Re: Network-provider ad blocking - great concept, but $$$.

        > What wasn't quite so widely reported was the family connection between the adblock technology provider and Three's parent company: Li Ka-Shing is involved with both ...

        You're making that sound nefarious. It's not necessarily the case. Someone involved at a high level with (say) Three in this case could see a problem/opportunity, spin up a company to make a solution, and then get it trialled to see if it works in real world.

        That may or may not be what happened in this instance, but it's a pretty standard approach.

        *************

        Reading that article you linked to... yeah, it does sound like they went with a scam operator "Shine" instead. They block content but if the content generator (facebook, etc) agrees to a revenue sharing split then they stop blocking them. That's definitely not acting in good faith.

  17. Woodnag

    Javascript

    With javascript disabled for Safari on iphone, not noticed any ads... but then sites like slashdot simply don't work, though el reg is fine.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use 'Free adblock browser' on Android

    Simple

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Augustine Fou is talking out of his arse

    Everyone I know who has an iPhone runs a content blocker in the browser. Everyone.

  20. bexley

    and lets not forget

    host file lists, I have not seen an ad on my phone for years.

  21. barbara.hudson
    Happy

    Ads? What ads?

    I use the original ad-blocking technology, developed with the help of the ad industry. I've gone ad-blind. There may be an ad there, but I juts don't see the content - same as almost everyone learned not to see banner ads so many years ago.

    Of course, with targeted advertising I don't get much anyway. After all, I never visit Amazon, etc., or buy anything online so targeted ads avoid me like the plague. Must be working, because I see plenty of "article continues past the ad" notices, but no ad, just the rest of the article.

    If you absolutely must shop online, do it from a different browser than the one you normally use, and use it only for that.

    1. nice_names_finish_last

      Re: Ads? What ads?

      Nice. I hope you've gone malware-blind as well.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I need an add block for Android Chrome...

    For this website. Either those Redhat adds or Chrome "Mobile View" (automatic popup from Chrome :( ) is crashing the page.

  23. Chronos
    WTF?

    ORLY?

    We have the technology, we just don't use it

    I assume that's the royal "we" because, if not, you're on the wrong web site.

    Lineage+AdAway+IceCat Mobile+µBlock Origin. I don't put up with them on my desktop, why should a device with less bandwidth be any different?

  24. PaulR79
    Facepalm

    Stupid ad hurlers haven't learned - repeating history

    I'm going to start blocking ads on mobile and the sites only have themselves to blame just as it started with desktop browser ads.

    Sites that have advertising need to have a basic understanding that if I go to their site for any reason it's probably not the best idea to obscure 95% of my view with a random "STAY INFORMED" or other junk pop-up when I land. If I'm at the site for an article I don't mind scrolling past some ads and I don't generally mind video ads either UNTIL they start automatically playing, unmuted and / or follow me when I scroll. Two things will happen the instant any of these things happen.

    1. I close the page and find what I wanted elsewhere, or do without.

    2. I block *ALL* ads everywhere because I've had enough of this crap just as I did with desktop ads years ago.

    1. Chronos
      Flame

      Re: Stupid ad hurlers haven't learned - repeating history

      Sites that have advertising need to have a basic understanding that if I go to their site for any reason it's probably not the best idea to obscure 95% of my view with a random "STAY INFORMED" or other junk pop-up when I land.

      The other one that really pisses me off is the pop-over "Sign up to our mailing list!" Yes, just what I need, more irrelevant crap in my inbox. I'm interested in this content now and I'm reading it on my schedule. Thirty minutes down the line I'll be looking at/doing something else. I do not want every single mundane task or research session turning into a life-long obsession, thank you.

      As for special deals on whatever they're selling, I probably already have one, which is why I'm there in the first place - and that really didn't turn out well or I'd not be looking for updates or a digital bat with which to beat it to death. Foscam, I'm looking at you. Thankfully, that was someone else's bad decision...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reader mode

    "They revert to their default browser – Safari or Chrome – which at this point does not block ads,"

    Eh? Safari has at least a dozen "content blockers" I know of, most of which work pretty well although some are prone to breaking a few sites. Even without them,Safari has had the brilliant Reader Mode for years, which works on 99.9 percent of sites I use and does a stellar job not only of adblocking, but general decluttering of the crap infesting most sites. It won't show up on the stats as an adblocker, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't very widely used since it's completely effort free.

    I installed https://pi-hole.net a few months back so browser based adblockers are a moot point anyway.

    In any case, I've read enough of the chest beating angst from the adpimps, publishers and anti Adblock "solutionz" merchants to know that any stats they come up with vary so wildly depending on the motivation of those offering them as to be completely meaningless when viewed across the industry - any grounding in reality is purely coincidental.

    1. Trilkhai

      Re: Reader mode

      I think that the author meant that Safari & Chrome don't come with ad-blockers built in, and that a lot of people use them without looking into adding any.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To some extent I find ads less intrusive on mobile as they tend to be always in-line with the text so are very easy to scroll past and ignore .... so to some extent I tolerate them.

  27. Def Silver badge
    Happy

    "Ad fraud will cost advertisers $16.4bn in 2017."

    I have absolutely no problem with that.

  28. Richocet

    Mobile Adblockers

    I have installed the Adblocker browser app on my iPhone as well as the adblocker extension for Safari. I'm happy with the results. Pages load faster = better productivity.

    I was happy to have these options on the mobile after setting up my desktop browser (chrome) with adblock plus, ublock plus and privacy badger on all 3 PCs.

    Adblocking provided the biggest speed-up, and on top of that, the PC privacy blockers noticeably sped up browsing.

    It alarmed me how many different tracking scripts run on a typical web page. No wonder web browsing is so slow with a range of scripts slurping as much personal data as they can in parallel.

    It would be more efficient if there was a standard API like jQuery that they could all tap into: jSpy? Except building such a framework would draw attention to how extensive the practise has become.

  29. maddave0

    If you don't want to root and have a samsung phone then you can use adhell to block ads in all apps, its a better approach to use than the vpn method (the vpn method can drain the battery quicker)

  30. snikk

    Abblock browser.

    End of discussion.

  31. Andrew Taylor 4

    Ads suck, yo

    Stop pretending 1 in 60k is a valid business model, especially given ad network malpractice. True benefits of ads are statistically insignificant, with problems outweighing rewards. A polished turd is still a turd. Rooted android with adaway works for me.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we're all as-good-as forced to use the default browser, which disallows ad blocking, because the monopolistic platform vendors also benefit from the ad revenue?

    There's a word, somewhere, just on the tip of my tongue. Anti... frost? Anti... thrush? Anti...

    It'll come to me.

    1. pleb

      You don't use a Samsung phone? Stock browser supports adblockers. Very effective.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be brave

    Go Brave

    No ads

    Super fast load times

  34. nickx89

    Oh why!?

    Ad blocking requires active filter list. It seems they give the functionality but does not actively maintains it. The fact that people ignoring the ad blocking and other security practices causes their IDs and devices to be hacked by simple actions of hackers. I don't get why people don't bother and trust the apps blindly.

  35. pleb

    Samsung?

    No one seems to have mentioned Samsung. The stock Samsung browser supports adblockers, and for my money it works very well. Given their market penetration in the USA, I'm surprised by the findings of the report.

  36. frankstallone

    Don't get your OS from an advertiser

    I'd say the article is wrong with regards to iOS. iPhone has plenty of excellent options that all perform well thanks to the in built content blocking system. 1Blocker does exactly what I want out of the box with no configuration. However if I do want to tweak it there are plenty of options and my settings sync across my Mac and my iOS devices.

    Android I'm sure is much worse for ad blocking butvthen the software is being delivered by an advertiser. What would anyone expect?

    1. Chronos

      Re: Don't get your OS from an advertiser

      Please stop shoving "Android" into a pigeon-hole. There's Android™ and then there's Android. Even if you don't feel like building it yourself, there is a plethora of options other than stock GoOgle-age. For my device, the Wileyfox Storm (I know, big mistake but I've beaten it into submission), there's Lineage nee CyanogenMod, Dirty Unicorns, AOSP Extended, VertexOS and many others. For a mainstream device such as the Moto <letter> handsets, there's more choice than you can shake a soggy stick at.

      For Joe Public, yes, iOS offers advantages. For us lot on t' Reg, custom built Android beats seven shades of excrement out of Apple's walled garden.

  37. Petecstuff

    Erm

    CM Browser... Pretty snazzy

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry but running synced Chrome across all devices has too many advantages to go switching to Firefox on mobile, as nice as it may be.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DNS66 Blocks ads, no root required

    There are lots of ways to block Ads on Android without root. DNS66 available from F-Droid (https://f-droid.org/packages/org.jak_linux.dns66/) is a decent one which works providing your not already running a VPN. Personally I use that when not running my VPN along with Firefox and uBlock Origin or Opera Mobile's build in ad blocking, Opera's ad blocking isn't that good on it's own but better than nothing and my VPN software also provides some ad blocking functionaliy.

  40. Anonymous Cowerd

    iOS, safari, Adblock Plus, Umbra.

    Works for me.

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