Adblock Plus For iOS Finds Its Way Onto Browsers

The maker of the ad-blocking software Adblock Plus released a version Tuesday for mobile iOS browsers, one day prior to similar news expected from Apple.

Apple's forthcoming technology in iOS 9 expected Wednesday will provide ad-blocking capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Aside from blocking advertisements from serving up, Adblock's iOS free browser extension, released Tuesday, touts ways to protect users from malware and malvertising, protects mobile data, disables ad tracking, increases privacy, and extends battery life on the phone.

Users can block all ads by default or whitelist favorite sites that have signed up with the service. The whitelist, per Adblock, provides a compromise between users and advertisers that is aimed at encouraging better, more relevant ads.

Adblock also got Google to allow its ad-blocking browser for Android back in the PlayStore, which has been absent since March 2013.

The company originally got a start by setting up standards for better advertising and ended up with a browser ad blocker, complete with a way to white-list specific advertisements. Any advertiser interested in having some or all of their ads whitelisted can apply through a manual certification process, says Ben Williams, head of operations at Adblock Plus.

"If they agree to meet the criteria, and our community finds their ads to be acceptable, their ads are whitelisted, shown by default to Adblock Plus users," Williams says.

It turns out more than 700 entities are on the Adblock Plus whitelist with thousands of whitelisted ads; and a low opt-out rate among users who can still turn it off and block all ads if they choose.

"We know it can't be the whole solution, but we think it's an opening salvo to a greater change in the industry, which needs help driving forward," Williams says.

Although not confirmed, reports suggest search engines Google and Microsoft Bing pay Adblock to appear on the whitelist.

Reports began surfacing Friday that YouTube now bypasses ad-blocker browser software in Chrome. Google's workaround isn't exclusive to Adblock, but all extensions used to blocked ads serving on YouTube.

Technology alters the programming to make ad-blockers see the "Skip" option as the ad, so it tricks the plug-in and sees that "Skip" option rather than the actual commercial. Google gets paid to run the ad in YouTube, and so do the ad creators.

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