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 You Google

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 more pleasurable 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.