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Google Removing Ad-Blockers From Play

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the ads-for-everyone dept.

Android 337

SirJorgelOfBorgel writes "It appears Google has begun removing ad-blocker apps for Android from the Play store, citing breaches of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement. The apps would be welcome back as soon as they no longer violated the agreement, though that doesn't seem possible while keeping the apps' core functionality intact." Update: 03/18 20:06 GMT by U L : You can still easily install ad blockers using F-Droid, the Free Software only replacement for Play.

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Good (-1, Offtopic)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168939)

Mozilla could really use some new users. Wonder how many will be "switching back" instead?

Re:Good (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43168963)

Way to miss the point. It's about Android, not Chrome.

Re:Good (1, Informative)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169057)

That agreement applies to chrome's play store too i think. It's always play store.

Re:Good (5, Informative)

gidoca (2726773) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169105)

No, Chrome's store is called Chrome Web Store and doesn't appear to be affected, Adblock et al. are still available.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169165)

...for now.

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169245)

Google Play's store's ad blockers were blocking *ads inside other Google Play store apps*. If you can't see the difference, you are just a moron.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169329)

Sounds like something that should be OK on an open platform.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169379)

You can still download them from outside of the play store. That's pretty open...unlike some other platforms.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169385)

Being "open" in no way impacts google's way to block them. You can still load these blockers from any other android store if it chooses to make them available. That is the point of OS being "open".

Google's point here is to obviously make them as invisible as possible to minimize users that block ads. Most people won't go around other android stores or internet sites searching for software, they're fairly happy with google play.

Re:Good (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169477)

Android is completely open. The Google Play Store is not, and therefore Google can do what they like with it. Developers release free versions of some apps on the premise that they will earn money through ads instead. So really they are protecting the developers from abuse here.

Think a little more before trying to be a smartass.

Re:Good (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169625)

Just the other day there were people railing against Destructoid for complaining about ad blockers. Now, apparently as long as Google is involved, it is OK to allow ads to protect developers.

You also seem to think a lot of yourself, don't you Somersault?

Re:Good (1)

killkillkill (884238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169509)

There is a difference between "open" and "we'll store files provide bandwidth and maintain the installation interface for you"

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169649)

Not always. I'm not sure about the legal issues in this particular instance but in some countries where consumer protection laws still matter, accepting the responsibility of being a retailer also imposes, on you, some requirements regarding handling of the wares you provide. In several european countries, for example, the retailer is responsible for the purchase and any reclamation in ADDITION to the provider's warranty.

I would argue that the appstore is something like a brick-and-mortar store and Google are well within their rights as to what to "stock" in that store, especially when you can easily circumvent the appstore by functions already available in the OS (ie. no need for jailbreaking). The law might not agree.

In short, try not to be so dismissive. It'll do you good in the long run. Try to allow yourself to be baffled by things you do not agree with and try to learn why other people would think the way they do and do not simply dismiss them as being wrong, dumb or worse.

You might learn a thing or to as well.

Re:Good (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169659)

Have you ever tried searching for Adblock Plus on the Chrome Store lately?

Re:Good (4, Informative)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169213)

You do know that Mozilla is releasing their own Phone OS, right? With their own app store.

Re:Good (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169423)

You do know that Mozilla is releasing their own Phone OS, right? With their own app store.

With Blackjack and hookers?

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169173)

Probably very few.. Android isn't really locked down, so, they've simply deemed them as unsuitable for their own store. The only difference now is that you need to install an APK (which is easy to do). Or, install another App store.

Also, Mozilla makes a large amount of funding from search royalties via Google. So, it would be somewhat hypocritical to switch to Mozilla (unless they rejected Google's money).

Re:Good (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169465)

Yup. Pretty much all of the adblock writers put their stuff onF-Droid [f-droid.org] the same way the emulator writers did after that big sweep a while back.

Honestly, I kind of saw this coming. It's not a big deal, really; on Android you don't even need root access to sideload apps and alternate app stores.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169343)

The problem with Google is the incosistant way the Play Store is policed.

Look at e.g Snes emulators. (Snesdroid was the original yongzh did pretty much all the initial ones (He open sourced his code at some point) / Snes9xEx is from a pretty honest guy (It was removed once he never contemplated reuploading it).

There is still loads of paid snes emulators. (Probably mostly based on the work of the above 2 people.)

Google are not the company they once were. (I did actually believe they didn't do much evil for a while at least that negatively affected me).

Bad idea (1, Insightful)

Cat_Herder_GoatRoper (2491400) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168947)

You did not agree to spam when purchased your Android device or did you?

Re:Bad idea (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169039)

Uh... let's just glance at the situation:

Google, an advertising/marketing company, puts out an OS for phones and tablets and gives it away for free and then allows users access to a repository system where free apps and games are often supplied... for free.

I'd say it was implied.

That said? I do not feel obligated to donate my bandwidth for free. I run AdFree which is a hosts file modifier. It's fairly effective.

I'll just have to get updates from non-market sources.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169189)

Try Adaway it works better in my experience. (I was also an adfree user. But it was occasionally not quite right)

Re:Bad idea (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169237)

Google, an advertising/marketing company, puts out an OS for phones and tablets and gives it away for free and then allows users access to a repository system where free apps and games are often supplied... for free.

You've missed one important part of that equation...

Yes, Google gives all that stuff away in the hopes of making money on advertising revenue. But advertising to people who really don't want it (to the point they would actively block it) costs money.

The evil marketing firms of the world can still survive in a world with AdBlock et al... They just need to cast a more narrow net - Target those who, for whatever reason (old? stupid? Researchers studying the behavior of bottom-feeders in a shrinking ecosystem?) don't block ads - And leave the rest of us the hell alone.

Re:Bad idea (1, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169271)

The evil marketing firms of the world can still survive in a world with AdBlock et al... They just need to cast a more narrow net - Target those who, for whatever reason (old? stupid? Researchers studying the behavior of bottom-feeders in a shrinking ecosystem?) don't block ads - And leave the rest of us the hell alone.

Wow, I've never actually SEEN someone use the Broken Window fallacy without being sarcastic. Good show, ol' bean!

Re:Bad idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169319)

That's not a broken window fallacy, though. The shape of that is "destroying property is good, because it stimulates economic flow". This is "it's possible to survive in face of shrinking user base, by targeting those that remain", with an undercurrent of the free rider problem.

Re:Bad idea (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169361)

I don't see how the parent is using the Broken Window fallacy. That appears to have to do with destruction, and thus the forced expenditure of resources for replacement not having a net benefit for the economy because the resources would have been spent anyway, elsewhere. The parent is talking about the preservation of resources, which would not have been spent anyway and will likely be spent elsewhere. It's about the dead opposite.

If you're referring to google, they are seeing a lack of revenue, not a forced expenditure, which again, doesn't match the Broken Window fallacy. Ad blockers are breaking their revenue chain, not forcing more spending. They'd be the equivalent of plexiglass eroding the glazier's market.

Obama cars. Plus "in a debt crisis, put people in (-1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169705)

Never seen it? Obama uses it regularly. For example, he argued that destroying people's cars would help the economy because they'd buy new ones. He called it "cash for clunkers". That's textbook Broken Window.

That one was doubly fallacious because he also argued that in a crisis brought on by people getting mortgages they couldn't actually afford, the solution was to sign them up for new car payments they couldn't afford.

Re:Bad idea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169365)

"Yes, Google gives all that stuff away in the hopes of making money on advertising revenue. But advertising to people who really don't want it (to the point they would actively block it) costs money."

Almost all apps have a pay-for ad-free version, and if you can afford a smartphone and a phone control, you can damn well afford to pay a buck or two for the paid version. Yes, some people are so tight-assed that they'll do anything to avoid paying a buck for an app, and such people will probably go to the effort of sideloading ad-blockers etc, but I see no reason whatsoever that Google shouldn't make it harder for the average user to block ads. Blocking ads in advertising-funded apps is essentially the same as software piracy, and there's no reason why they should make it easy. Ad blockers that only block ads in the browser might be a different story.

And before you ask, yes, I do use an ad blocker for my desktop web browsing, however a) I do disable it on sites such as slashdot that I want to support, and that behave sensibly as far as the level and nature of advertising, and b) I don't generally have the option to pay a buck or to to get rid of the ads.

Re:Bad idea (3, Informative)

czernabog (2799797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169609)

but I see no reason whatsoever that Google shouldn't make it harder for the average user to block ads.

Reason: It's opposite to what the user wants.

Re:Bad idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169291)

"puts out an OS for phones and tablets and gives it away for free"

I paid for my phone. It did not came for free, it was quite expensive.

Re:Bad idea (4, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169435)

But they don't even stop you from blocking spam. They're just refusing to actively participate in it.You can install these app from other providers.

Play store not the only source (3, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168953)

At least Android is open enough to allow installation from outside the Play Store.
Though after the initial availability this change of heart does surprise me.

Re:Play store not the only source (5, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169009)

A quick look on Amazon and there is at least one ad blocker available. People can say what they like about Amazon, but I'm really glad they started their app store for Android. As far as is possible with app stores, it forced some choices there that I'm sure Google didn't in any way want.

On the other hand, we as consumers helped enable app stores. It was a pretty big shift from the way hardware/software has historically worked. Microsoft is now tripping all over itself to get a piece of the action. Make the hardware, and then make a cut off of every app sold. Yeah. A wet dream from MS. Hey, not only that, but they get final approval over the apps in the store. Double yeah!

Re:Play store not the only source (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169077)

I have had my share of trouble with Amazon's app store and apps/games acquired through it. Guess what happens to your apps/games when you remove the Amazon app store? Nothing works. Not going to play that game any longer... I quit that game quite some time ago. But it seems Google's store (play) is similar though no one actually removes the play store do they?

So the only way to be in control of your apps is to pirate them or acquire them directly from the maker which is often not an available option.

Seriously, I feel icky downloading a $3 app or game from a torrent site. I'd rather pay for it. But there are advantages to getting it the other way... and risks... and I still pay when I can. $3-$5 apps is the way things ought to be!

Re:Play store not the only source (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169383)

But it seems Google's store (play) is similar though no one actually removes the play store do they?

As far as I can tell they are not similar. I've loaded apks downloaded with the play store and backed up with titanium backup on systems which still run market, anyway.

Re:Play store not the only source (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169429)

And then its perfectly fair for people who don't want advertising to pay for their software

Seems people want the free software and no advertising which brings in revenue to the developers

Re:Play store not the only source (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169139)

A quick look on Amazon and there is at least one ad blocker available

Indeed. Thankfully we have the Amazon store, as that's really the only other widely trusted Android repository right now. If not for Amazon I don't think there's any other repository most geeks would trust for paid apps, due to the complexities of properly handling/securing payment details.

But this still bites. Play is the de facto Android store; most users don't have immediate access to other stores, and as for Amazon they have some really weird developer-unfriendly practices for handling paid apps (primarily how pricing works). Geeks will be fine, but for the layperson this would seem to push ad blockers out of their reach.

Re:Play store not the only source (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169283)

As far as is possible with app stores, it forced some choices there that I'm sure Google didn't in any way want

If Google hadn't wanted, then they would have locked their device to their app store the same way Apple did. This decision sucks, but it only emphasises how much Google had it right when it came to Android; if Google does turn to the dark side, Android users can go somewhere else.

Re:Play store not the only source (2)

czernabog (2799797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169637)

if Google does turn to the dark side,

We're way past that point.

Re:Play store not the only source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169539)

If they didn't want other app stores, why would there be a specific setting in Android to allow them?

Why not just block all non-Google signed apps?

Re:Play store not the only source (4, Informative)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169307)

Yeah this really isn't a big deal. A while back some popular emulators were pulled from the Android store. What did I do? I just went to the developers website and downloaded from there. Just a direct download of the apks. No root or anything required.

That's what I love about Android. It actually feels like a PC in my pocket where I can do whatever.

Re:Play store not the only source (1)

buxomspacefish (2811071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169709)

That's what I love about Android. It actually feels like a PC in my pocket where I can do whatever.

Is that a PC in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Surprise (5, Insightful)

cffrost (885375) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168957)

World's largest ad-pusher seeks to push more ads.

Can you use Android without the Goog? (2)

Compaqt (1758360) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168983)

(From a Linux geek still happy with a "dumbphone", but considering Android)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

Builtin app replacement recommendations?

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (2)

Spad (470073) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169027)

Sort of

No

Yes

No

It depends

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (5, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169035)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

Yes.

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

No.

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

Yes, generally referred to as 'sideloading'.

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

No, you can use a regular google account. However, to pay for an app you will need to do so.

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Each app has a list of what features it requests access to available on the store page (and you will be notified of them before installation). There are apps that allow you to enforce your own arbitrary restrictions on any app, but it may casue some to stop working.

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

Try some of the various alternative Android distros like Cyanogenmod. XDA Developers is a good place to start.

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169227)

In the UK you need to use a card to enable Google Music. (It can be removed again immediately afterwards).

Now you can get pre paid cards (£10/£25 - Tesco / Morrisons).

I understand that this is probably one of the better countries. (It was credit card (None prepaid) or nothing until very recently).

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (2)

qaz123 (2841887) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169069)

Yes you can use Android without having a Google account but many google services will be unavailable for you. Like google play, synchronization etc . You can just transfer apps (apk files) on your phone

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169085)

You can!

You do, however, have to be aware of what not to do.

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (1, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169087)

Wow, you have been fed incredible amounts of FUD. Where did you get this "information"?

None of the things you are scared of are true. All the "i would like it to work this way" are correct.

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (1)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169107)

(From a Linux geek still happy with a "dumbphone", but considering Android)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

Builtin app replacement recommendations?

The phone you buy comes pre-loaded with the Google Apps (calendar, gmail, Talk....). Those require a google account indeed, and may require you to set up one when you start the phone for the first time (through a non-skippable Wizard). But the phone is perfectly usable without ever actually using those AND with a bit of rooting, you can remove them.

Open Source being what it is, community built versions of Android ship without the google apps included (because Google forbids the distribution of those proprietary apps), so you have a perfectly usable phone without any link to google. You have to be careful while chosing your phone, though, not every phone is supported with the same level of quality (hint: these days, the Good Guys (tm) who provide some driver and low level library source are Sony with their Xperia T, V, Z, ...)

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (3, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169121)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

Yes. Best way is probably the hosts file, which means you need to root the device (not hard, especially if you get a Nexus device)

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

You need at least a gmail account. But that doesn't mean you have to use it for anything else.

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

Yes.

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

Credit card number only if you download non-free apps. No address. If you're worried, use a pre-paid credit card.

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Sometimes.

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

See above...

Builtin app replacement recommendations?

GoLauncherEx for homescreens
Playerpro (music)
ChompSMS
K9 Mail.

HTH

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (2, Informative)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169141)

(From a Linux geek still happy with a "dumbphone", but considering Android)

Can you use Android without serving yourself up to Google?

It is difficult, but possible. Just.

Is it true that you have to have a Google account to start up your phone?

No, but without a google account you cannot use their app store, and without an account of some sort somewhere you cannot use the calendar. I personally have setup a Zarafa server with Z-push to mimic an Exchange with active-sync. Using that allows me to use the calendar and sync my email, contacts and calendar without using google at all.

Can you (easily) install apps by just downloading them to your computer and then transferring to the phone?

That depends. If they are apps from someone who has realised that Google Play is not required, and just distributes the APKs then sure, easy as pie. If they are apps that are distributed solely via Google Play then, no, not easily.

You can however install them on another android device and use something like APK Extractor to copy them to install on your phone. I keep one of my old android phones for this purpose

Do you have to give up your credit card info and name/address to sign up for the Google app store? (In light of the recent story that app developers get all your info, I don't know if I want every 2-bit app to get that info. The info itself could be worth more than the 99 cents for the application.)

No. I haven't had to at least. I would warn you though that if Google have this information from another source (i.e. Google wallet or whatever they call it) I wouldn't put it past them to 'helpfully' fill it in for you

Also, do free apps also get your personal information?

Not to my knowledge. Only the paid app get your info afaik.

Any hints or links re: using Android without the all-seeing eye?

Builtin app replacement recommendations?

The first thing I tend to do with an android device is root it, and install a custom ROM. Typically Cyanogenmod, but sometimes others. I would recommend you have a good look to see which devices have the best developer community before you buy.

Second, if you don't have an exchange server available, set one up yourself on a machine you tend to leave on in your home network. That will provide most of the functionality you'd be missing by not having a google account tied to your phone. (If you are feeling adventurous you could set up a VPN and have secure access to this anywhere.

Apps wise, go grab one of the OpenStreetMap apps, which will have you covered for maps and route planning. Grab something like EStrong File manager so you can access network shares. And finally, grab something like ConnectBot, so you can ssh into your machines.

I think that pretty much covers my setup

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169471)

It is difficult, but possible. Just.

I had to load about six different ROM images onto my phone before I found one that would let me use GPS without leaking information to Google. This is on gingerbread, though... Who new privacy was a feature which had to be added? Or hacked in.

Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (3, Informative)

rapidmax (707233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169181)

I'm a happy owner of a Android phone running CyanogenMod with the FSF FreeDroid (F-Droid) Store. I didn't installed the Play Store on purpose. Sure I don't have access to 300k Apps, but most important Apps* are available and the Phone is working fine and reliable.

* That of course depends on your needs. For me its: Browser, Firefox, aCal calendar, OsmAnd Map application, shopping list, Jabber client, SIP client, GPS tracker, calculator, text editor, and a few games

"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (1, Insightful)

blarkon (1712194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168987)

At least we know why they gave Android away for free - it was so they would have a route to shove mobile advertisements down our throats.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169051)

It took you a few years to figure it out.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169065)

Moron. "Don't be Evil" doesn't mean "do nothing and let the business model be destroyed". Again, Moron.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169177)

Whilst the OP was pointless as everyone already knew that; people 'foolish' enough to use Google's services are Google's product, yours is just moronic.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169097)

Or you could just use alternative stores.

Oh fer... (4, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169109)

You still have a choice in phones and their operating systems, yes? What 'shoving' is taking place, exactly? Where is the 'evil' in offering another platform option?

You don't like Android's "free + ads", go try iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Ubuntu Mobile etc. Maybe try a less-restrictive app store, or (heaven forbid) just sideload an ad-blocker. Android still offers you those choices too.

Re:Oh fer... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169485)

You don't like Android's "free + ads", go try iOS, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Ubuntu Mobile etc.

It's not free+ads, it's free-freedom. Also, iOS and WP are even worse, and the other two don't exist yet. And Tizen is eating glue in the corner.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169127)

When did advertising become evil?

You expect to be able to get everything in this world without paying appropriately for it?

Get real.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169433)

adds got evil, when they started getting in the way of what I wanted to do

you know things like adds blocking what your want to view, playing loud music, doing something in js/flash that pegs the cpucore at 100%

you want me to see your adds: then host them on your own domain, and make sure they don't require flash/js
(as for television, keep the adds in the addvertisement blocks, when I'm watching a movie/sitcom/.... I don't want no freaking adds floating around you assholes)

Re:"Don't Be Evil" My Arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169559)

They got evil when they got in the way of you freeloading my work?

I have a very effective ad blocker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169067)

It's called paying for apps.

And what did you expect? (5, Informative)

coder111 (912060) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169089)

Of course they did. This threatens their business model. A corporation will do ANYTHING to defend its cashflow. Any corporation, even Google. You want to play in their walled garden- you have to do it by their rules.

I'm quite glad Android is not completely closed, and projects like F-Droid exist:
http://f-droid.org/ [f-droid.org]

It's not half as good as official Google store at the moment, but it's open source, and it will get improved.

As for me, I won't be happy until I can apt-get install apps on my mobile :)

--Coder

Re:And what did you expect? (1, Informative)

xiando (770382) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169413)

I trust that the software at http://f-droid.org/ [f-droid.org] does not do bad things, I do not trust the Google appstore the same way. This is why I removed all the Google spyware my phone came with, including GoogleServicesFramework.apk... the downside is obviously that I can't use the Google Play market but who cares

Re:And what did you expect? (3, Insightful)

czernabog (2799797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169661)

A corporation will do ANYTHING to defend its cashflow. Any corporation, even Google.

It's time to drop the "even" when referring to Google.

If you like an app buy it (2, Interesting)

r6_jason (893331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169163)

If you like an app, pay the dollar or two for the ad free version, other wise you're stealing from the developer of the app, justify it however you like, but it is theft.

Re:If you like an app buy it (4, Informative)

Psiren (6145) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169209)

If you like an app, pay the dollar or two for the ad free version, other wise you're stealing from the developer of the app, justify it however you like, but it is theft.

That's not always possible. There are a few apps that I use where there isn't a version without the ads. I'd happily plonk down a few quid to remove them, but the option isn't there.

Re:If you like an app buy it (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169501)

Some games like Angrt Birds make more money from the Ad version than the paid version. Simply because people are playing them all the time and after 40+ hours the ads are worth more. That's why you see some apps without pay versions at all, particularly in Android where prices are "too low" already then they don't have to compete with cracked pay versions..

Re:If you like an app buy it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169463)

bullshit, if you put an app up without requiring payment you're doing the digital equivalent of busking. You hope people will give you money (whether directly or through adds) but you can't require it. DEAL .... WITH ... IT. If you're not willing to do that then put your app behind a paywall where it belongs.

Just pushing people to find alternatives to Play (3, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169219)

I'm not exactly a power droid user, but ad-blocking is absolutely something that will push me to go look outside of the google store. Is that really what they want to do?

GNU forks of Android and Play needed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169229)

The subject says it all, but unpacking the two issues:

- We need a GNU (or Debian) fork of Android so that key user protections like a preconfigured Netfilter firewall are available out of the box, as well as a root account and full set of root admin tools. Google's protection of advertisers by giving apps free reign once you've installed them needs to end.

- We need a GNU (or Debian) fork of Google Play to carry full-source free software apps including ad blockers and other forms of user-based control, like a NoScript equivalent. Google is utterly not on the user's side in this regard, and their hegemony needs to end. Our devices belong to us, not to Google.

Re:GNU forks of Android and Play needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169535)

- We need a GNU (or Debian) fork of Google Play to carry full-source free software apps including ad blockers and other forms of user-based control, like a NoScript equivalent. Google is utterly not on the user's side in this regard, and their hegemony needs to end. Our devices belong to us, not to Google.

The Google Play Store has never been open source, so you'd need a GPL implementation of an Android app store from scratch. Sounds huge and difficult and infeasabl--wait, sorry, I meant that these guys already did it [f-droid.org]

Screw You! (1, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169275)

Screw you Apple and your walled ...

What?

Oh...

Awkward...

Re:Screw You! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169359)

Yeah, using a term without even knowing what it mean is quite awkward.

Just look at that walled garden of Android - Google said "no adblockers in our Play Store" and that's it, people now have no other options to install one on their phone without hacking it (except for Amazon AppStore, F-Droid, direct downloads of APKs, ...)

Re:Screw You! (2)

zidium (2550286) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169531)

OK OK...

Maybe it's not a walled garden with a 24/7 security battalion at every window [Apple's iOS]...

Sounds more like a couple of parks side by side with a 3 foot high fence meant to keep toddlers safe from running into the street and getting smashed.

Comparison to Apple and other vendors... (3, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169287)

I'm gonna get modded down here for bringing Apple into this, but it is relevant and is exactly an example of why having alternative app sources is important for users. I've long held that Apple must be forced to allow apps installed from third-party sources and here is an exact reason as to why that would be beneficial. Want to install something that the vendor agrees with? You can do it with Android thanks to the Amazon store, F-droid, and the like. And in all honesty, it's somewhat fair of Google to do this - if they've put up the Play Store, then they should have the right to determine what gets sold on it.

But the problem with Apple and the Iphone ecosystem is that you don't have any such choice - once you buy an Iphone, you do what Apple tells you and that's the end of the story, until you go to the lengths of exploiting the operating system to install what you like. And I don't want to hear that it's not a problem because Apple doesn't have a monopoly, which should somehow enable them to impose their decisions on their customers. We've seen such a backlash in the US over the people's right to unlock their phone's bootloader because once you buy it, it's yours. How is that different in the case of Apple forcing you to install only apps that they approve of? Once you buy it, it's yours - you should be able to run whatever you want on it if you should also have the right of unlocking it and doing what you wish. And you shouldn't have to go to the lengths over exploiting the OS in order to do it.

Regardless, I'm not an Android or Google fanboy (anymore, if I ever was one to begin with), and though they are in general better than Microsoft and Apple, they are distancing themselves from the goodness that comes from non-profit producers such as Mozilla. I'm pretty much set on dumping Android if/when I replace my phone in the next few years, and it's their vigorous policy towards advertising wiht such utter disregard for privacy that is pushing me that way. If there's one thinig I hate as a consumer, it's being treated like a sheep. Seems like FirefoxOS, Ubuntu Mobile, or crazily enough, maybe even Blackberry is the way to go.

Re:Comparison to Apple and other vendors... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169399)

well..

with apple what they do is ask you for a hundred bucks. you can do plenty with developer credentials.

same with windows phone.

I just hope nobody at google figures out that they could ask hundred bucks a year for enabling adb and sideloading. because if some dimwit over there does the numbers of 100 000 "devs" * 100 bucks, that's a lot of potential dough.

Re:Comparison to Apple and other vendors... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169459)

I just hope nobody at google figures out that they could ask hundred bucks a year for enabling adb and sideloading.

Me too, because it's just one more thing to pay to have unlocked, which will probably be illegal.

Re:Comparison to Apple and other vendors... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169445)

It does seem evil but apple is forcing a fair and profitable ecosystem for developers to get paid

iOS devs make more money which is why the best new apps are on iOS first

Go look at the top 10 lists on both stores. iOS its real applications. Android you have nonsense like launcher pro in along with other geek apps in the top ten

Re:Comparison to Apple and other vendors... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169503)

Just [apple.com] looked [google.com] at them and can't see any qualitative difference.

And what's your gripe about launcher pro? Yes, it's a class of applications that is absent on AppStore - you must use the Holy Home Screen as Jobs intended and like it, together with the Holy Mobile Safari and other unreplaceable Apple provided built-ins (unless you're a pagan jailbreaker, then you can have pretty nice alternatives on your iPhone, if you want to)

That's cool... (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169357)

I just unchecked the box that said "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" in ABP, and dropped all of the exceptions from Ghostery and NoScript. Now I'm back to no advertising at all.

What About App Developers? (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169371)

I can understand why people ad-block - especially web pages.

However, developers get a slice of the ad-revenue when the ads are presented via their apps.

I have an android phone & tablet and free apps with advertising and I've also paid for apps too - usually to disable ads or shock horror actually find an app useful and pay the developer a fair price.

If you like an app enough then buy it (in most cases just a few pounds) or if you are not willing to pay for an app you'll have to put up with ads instead.

If you want to ad-block something fine but remember you may be hurting the app developers too.

Re:What About App Developers? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169479)

If you like an app enough then buy it (in most cases just a few pounds) or if you are not willing to pay for an app you'll have to put up with ads instead.

If you can't survive without people seeing your ads, make the app fail if they aren't displayed. In any case, Adaway never seems to have hidden in-app ads for me, but it did block in-browser ads. They took it down anyway. They're evil assholes.

Users must always be in control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169583)

If you want to ad-block something fine but remember you may be hurting the app developers too.

Accepting advertising or not should be switchable at any time by the end user, because the device belongs to the end user. Much of the time we don't mind the advertising, but at other times we do, it can be intrusive and violates our privacy.

Google make it impossible to stop advertising once you've installed an app, because they view Android not as a service to users but as a service to them and to their advertisers. Google is not on our side.

Advertising should be opt-in, controlled by the user at any time. Developers will do just fine, and if they can't cope with a world in which users are in control then good riddance to them. There is no shortage of professional developers happy to respect end-user control.

the killer ap (1)

epine (68316) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169453)

I remember a decade ago when people were always debating the next "killer ap". Well, we found it. It was AdBlock.

I just spent two hours reading about crazy people destroying their livers to increase their mental capacity by 10% (I doubt it's more than that from the spelling errors). Why? One can get as much boost (at least during your Internet time) from any good ad-blocking program with no damage to your liver at all.

If the mountain of crap won't stay away from Muhammad then Muhammad must stay away from the mountain of crap.

Re:the killer ap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169505)

In general, I destroy my liver to temporarily reduce my mental capacity, oftentimes by significantly more than "10%". I don't know what you're drinking, though...

Re:the killer ap (1)

fche (36607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169533)

That is an interesting way to put it.

Almost all of them require rooting (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169475)

So it's not much of a loss either way.

In Other Words (1, Insightful)

turkeyfish (950384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169499)

You can't shop at the Play Store unless you are willing to be relentlessly bombarded with ads and your entire life's every moved tracked to improve the bottom line of Google Corporation.

Google doesn't just make glasses. They want to own your eyeballs as well.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169543)

Just go to F-Droid (alternative store) and install AdAway. Problem solved.

Today was not a good day for Google. First Google Reader and now this.

Don't be evil (5, Insightful)

czernabog (2799797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169565)

Boggles my mind how some educated people still see this all-knowing mega-corporation as nice and friendly.

Hello Barbara Streisand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169575)

Had on occasions thought I should set up an app blocker, but never got around to it, and probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been reminded of it by this article, which wouldn't have been written if....etc.

So basically thanks for reminding me google, I've been meaning to do this for ages.

Minor impact, really, blown way out of proportion. (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169619)

Considering the most efficient ad blockers (AdKill is my favorite) only work on rooted devices, and only a minority of users root their phones/tablets, I don't see this having any serious impact on the user experience.

And if you can root your phone, you can certainly enable sideloading and say fuck you to Google Play.

Two Step Model (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169631)

Would it be possible to have an app in the Play Store that had two modes?:

1) if the presence of a certain code bundle was detected, exec that.
2) if it's missing, bring up a web browser and point to the website for the user to download it, then provide for a guided copy/install.

I'm assuming the Play Store already prohibits direct code downloads, but if not that would be even easier.

Just a guess (1)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43169641)

There are a lot of developers that provide a "free" app whose revenue comes from allowing advertisements to appear somewhere on the screen. Assuming these adblockers would also block those ads, anyone using them would be cutting the revenue of those kind devs who released their apps for free. And if that's the case, then I think what Google is doing is justifiable.

This hypothesis was made on the basis of zero research and two cups of coffee :)

Ads, alright, tracking NOT alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43169657)

I can live with ads. I do not LIKE them, but I can generally deal - if they aren't overly animated flashing annoying things. What I want to block, with extreme prejudice, are any and all tracking bugs (they ain't features!). Ain't nobody's business where I am, where I was, or what I looked at. If you make a sale, then you get know that you made a sale. DONE.

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