Google pulls Samsung-backed ad blocker from Play Store

Despite Samsung only launching the blocker on Sunday, it has been disabled 'for violating the Developer Distribution Agreement', according to Google.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer on

Google has pulled an Android ad blocker backed by Samsung from the Play Store, only days after it was launched.

Earlier this week, Samsung added the ad blocker to the web browser preinstalled in its handsets. Any phone with the Samsung Internet browser installed was able to download the blocker.

Adblock Fast, developed by Rocketship Apps, was the South Korean tech giant's launch partner for the app. Company developer Brian Kennish said he received an email from Google regarding the block.

"I reviewed Adblock Fast ... and found that it violates section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement," the email said, according to a report on The Next Web. "This particular app has been disabled as a policy strike."

Rocketship said on its homepage that it was working to relaunch its app.

While a Samsung spokesman declined to comment on the matter, Google responded with the statement: "While we don't comment on specific apps, we can confirm that our policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers."

Samsung's app mirrors Apple's introduction of an ad-blocking API to iOS earlier this year.

Samsung Internet has been preinstalled on Galaxy devices since 2012. It made the browser available for download last year, a move aimed at expanding the browser to non-Samsung devices.

Samsung named executive vice president Injong Rhee, who heads all mobile software at the firm, as head of R&D team 1 of its mobile division in its annual reshuffle late last year, the first software expert to head the research team since Samsung launched its smartphones.

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