In an unexpected move, Google has removed all apps that block ads on your Android powered device. No worries, Android malware remains available for download.

No Ad Blocking for YouGoogle

Developers who have made ad blocking apps for your Android device were surprised to find, or not to find rather, their application available on the Google Play Store. Google has determined that the applications violate the distribution agreement. Specifically, Section 4.4. Here’s what it says:

“4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.”

I’m not sure how an ad blocking application disrupts or damages devices or property, but apparently Google does. More likely that fact that Google makes a living off advertisements is what prompted this action.

Google Play: The New Apple App Store

We’ve seen in the past how Apple, and even Microsoft have pulled apps from their stores for violating agreements. The difference is however that an ad blocking app wouldn’t have made it’s way into their respective stores in the first place.

The Google Play Store, on the other hand, let’s everything in, plus the kitchen sink. It’s only when issues arise, such as malware, that Google takes action and does something about it. We’ve see plenty of malware and viruses do damage before being noticed by Google. Ad blockers do not harm the software running on the device, nor will ad blockers steal your private data. Yet, Google removes an application that actually makes it morepleasurable to use your device.

AdBlock Responds To App Removal

Till Faida, co-founder of AdBlock Plus (one of the apps pulled fro the Google Play Store), had this to say:

“By unilaterally removing these apps, Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic. People should be really alarmed by this move”

Alarmed is right. He goes on to say that the user has a choice as to show or hide ads. In addition, users can whitelist certain ads.

Your Thoughts

What do you think? Is Google going to far? Are they trying to control the user experience as Apple does? Sound off in the comments.


  1. If the ads are in a free game/app that provide the developer with income, income that allows them to continue to develop for the Android OS then I can see why Google removed the ad blocker apps from their store. Besides, you can still side load them if the developers put their apps up on their site.

  2. The problem is with people’s mentality that everything should be free. Quite a few developers offer a “Free” version of their apps which include ads and a paid version which has no ads. The ads are there to generate revenue for the developer. By not displaying the ads you’re basically giving the developer a big ‘FU’ just as if you pirated the app. That’s at least my take on this.

  3. good riddance. do people think a developer should give their app/site/products away for free? Adblock should go out of business. I hate ads too, but I understand how things work… Advertising is a way that we don’t have to pay for every single thing we use.

  4. You can still easily load adblock from a PC onto your phone. Its a little more complicated but people will still block ads. Also ads are even worse on phones, giant blinking crap that takes up the whole screen. Sorry, ads can burn in hell there are other ways to make money.

  5. App developers could offer a trial version (less features) and still have a paid version. There are ways to make money aside from ads. If 99% of your revenue is coming from ads then your app is probably worthless.

  6. Did anybody who graduated from high school proofread this article? The punctuation and grammar errors are atrocious.

  7. don’t be evil, google, it’s not too late to save your soul! — your friend, steve mobs

  8. Awesome post, tapscape! Definitely it’s a good thing that Google removed these ad blocking apps. Ads produce revenue for apps and without it the whole app ecosystem will collapse.

  9. Awe-inspiring post! Google removes ad blocking apps for the benefit of the developers. Without ad revenue, the whole app system would be negatively affected.

  10. Adblock is great application for those people who hate advertisement. For the people who develop an application, the action that the google did was a great move for them. But for other people this is a great disappointment.

  11. I agree with you about not understanding how they violated the rules. Ads generate money for the apps so I assume it has something to do with that.

  12. I’m sorry you feel that way. From my point of view though I don’t see why I should have to buy more data to see ads for crap I don’t even want. I refuse to buy anything one of those hideous screaming ads are trying to sell me on. It would be different maybe if the phone czars didn’t restrict data usage to the point nearly everyone has to buy more. Until then anything that helps reduce my data usage is awesome. Sorry we disagree.

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