We can all agree that ads are annoying. We live in this virtual world of apps for a major part of our day (for fitness, commute, work, music and entertainment), and the last thing we want is to be bothered by some ad. But we can’t control these distracting, intrusive (and sometimes harmful) ads that pop up on our screen when we use these apps. Or can we?
Google, Android and Mobile Advertising:
Google bought “base” Android in 2005 and made a new, developed Android version and released it in September of 2008. This Android version 1.0 was so user-friendly and interactive with any underlying hardware platform that it emerged to be the most popular and widely used operating system in the world. How did Google exercise the success of Android?
Well, Google paved its path for monetization. Google’s revenue is mainly from two domains: Google Play store and Google Ads. As the number of Android users increased, Google made it mandatory for mobile companies which needed Android OS for their hardware to make Google Apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Play store, Google Maps etc. and YouTube as default installed apps on these phones. The default search engine in most of these phones is the Google search engine. Google earns revenue from the ads that are displayed in the web page when users search via these apps and online (on computers).
Google also earns a share of 30% by in-app advertising in Android apps that we use in our everyday life (like the ads that pop up or hover in every app). The other 70% goes to the developer of the app. Thus, Mobile Advertising spread its wings and flew into every app on your phone.
The root is the basic directory of android where all the apps and hard-data are stored. Rooting is the process of creating an administrative superuser called as root in your phone, which gives the front-end user i.e. you, a power to have control on your Android OS and change aspects of your Android operating system. Rooting is not illegal.
Android OS is mainly built on Linux-kernel. So, you can modify your Android OS like any other Linux OS. Rooting is done mainly by adding ‘su’ file that the front-end user was deprived of earlier.
Remember you didn’t have these powers before, like the power to delete, add, replace and make changes to system apps like Settings, System UI and even Dialer Settings. You can also remove certain apps that are imbibed into the phone which cannot be uninstalled by the front-end user (even though they are useless and drain your battery life) and install apps that will stop the ads that pop up on your screen.
But is it advisable to root? Yes. No. Maybe. All these are valid answers if you know what you are dealing with. Because with great root superuser power comes great responsibility.
We must acknowledge the elephant in the room which is Android is the most widely used OS in the world followed by Windows and iOS. So, there are many software developers supported by Google, who are putting in the effort to make Android more efficient and secure. When you root your phone, this security armour provided by Android is lost and it’s your responsibility to provide security for your Android OS.
In the process of rooting your phone, you may void your warranty which means that your mobile company is no longer responsible for the software in case it doesn’t work anymore after rooting. If there is no working OS inside your phone, it turns into a ‘brick’.
Annoyed by Ads?
For ad-blocking on Android, “Recursive Local VPN” method is used. In this method, Ad-blocking apps can run a local VPN connection with its own host filtering ability and DNS address without requiring root access. In this method, ad-blocking app downloads host files and use them to filter out all ad networks in the mobile.
This approach saves battery, does not slow the internet and requires less configuration.
Where can we download these apps:
If you search for ad-block apps in Google Play store, you will see ad-blockers for web browsers and they do not block ads in Android apps. An ad-blocker app which blocks ads in other apps violates section 4.4 of Google Developer Distribution Agreement and removed from Google Play store. Ad-block apps put a set back to the revenue through in-app advertising. So, all ad-block apps for Android are third-party downloads i.e. they should be downloaded from the app’s official website.
All the apps mentioned below are the most popular ad-blocking apps and they all work for non-rooted Android devices:
DNS66 is a very popular repository-based ad-blocker app for Android. The app’s creator, Julian Klode provided its source code in GitHub. You can also download this app from F-Droid. The DNS66 creates an encrypted server which filters sort of ads. The app can be improved to have better whitelisting of ads.
Blokada was developed by Karol Gusak in 2016. Blokada is a speedy and battery-friendly ad blocker for Android that comes with many stability updates. Blokada’s filters give the user complete freedom to configure whitelist and blacklist to filter. So, you can decide ads to block and which should be allowed.
AdGuard is a very popular, no root and root ad blocker for Android and iOS that removes ads in apps and browsers, protects your privacy and also does not allow anyone to track your activities on the Internet. It works mainly in two modes: VPN mode and an HTTP proxy.
AdGuard was developed by AdGuard Software Limited with latest release 7.3 in 2019.
Adblock Plus is an open-source ad blocker for Android provided by Eyeo GmbH company. The app’s first version was released in November 2012. It is a system-wide adblocker.
In this app, ads are only blocked through a Wi-Fi connection and requires the user to set up a local proxy server for each network in order for the app to function. So, that’s extra work.
AdClear is a reliable and leading ad blocker app developed by Seven Networks for non-rooted Android devices. It blocks YouTube advertisements as well as all types of encrypted, malware, and intrusive ads shown on websites or while using apps.
Though ad-blocking may relieve us from distractive ads, it is a downside for app developers who opt for in-app advertising in their apps. If in-app advertising didn’t exist, most apps would not be free for download. Ad-blocking is also an obstacle for digital marketers who rely on Google Ads and in-app advertising for promotion and publicity of their products.
Most of the android users are only against the long, distracting, intrusive and harmful ads in their apps and online. Anyway, hope this article has given you some insight into ad-blocking on Android. Choose the right ad-blocker app for your phone. Adieu!
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