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Eyeo, makers of the popular ad-blocking software Adblock Plus, have launched their very first mobile browser. Adblock Browser 1.0 for Android is currently in open beta meaning anyone can take it out for a spin but there are a few things you'll need to be aware of before making the switch.
To get started, you'll need to first join the Adblock Plus Browser community on Google+. You will also need to make sure Android is configured to install apps from unknown sources (found in Android's security settings menu). Once complete, you can snag the app by tapping this link or scanning the QR code on the community page.
Adblock Browser 1.0 is based on Firefox for Android. The company said it chose Firefox as its base because they admire Mozilla's openness and as you'd expect, it is also open source. In addition to blocking ads, the Adblock Browser promises to reduce bandwidth consumption, increase battery life and protect users from malware injected into ads.
Do note, however, that the browser won't let you enable add-ons or sync to your desktop Firefox browser. Also, the browser is set to allow ads from whitelisted providers although you can elect to block all ads if you want.
If you recall, Adblock Plus for Android was once available as an extension but was banned from the Play Store in 2013 because it interfered with other apps' features. It was also only able to block ads delivered over unencrypted HTTP connections meaning it was useless when surfing secure HTTPS sites.
The company said they'll largely stick to Firefox for Android's UI for now but will move things in a different direction over time based on users' needs and wishes.
The browser is forecasted to exit beta status in July or August according to Eyeo communications director Ben Williams. What's more, a version for iOS is also in the pipeline although a date for its arrival hasn't yet been revealed.