Following the lead of both Opera and Google, Microsoft has announced it is testing a built-in Adblock Plus integration in its mobile Edge browser available for both iOS and Android devices.
Microsoft has already began rolling out the feature to those running the beta version of Edge for Android. Those using the stable version of the browser will receive the feature in a future update. Edge isn’t the first mobile browser to feature ad-blocking. Firefox for Android blocks ads in private browsing mode, and the privacy-first Firefox Focus stops them appearing by default.
Google has integrated an ad-blocker into its Chrome for Android users earlier this year, although in practice it only prevented the most egregious ads appearing (including videos that play sound automatically and those that take up half your screen). Adblock Plus takes a far more drastic approach, putting the brakes on pretty much all advertising.
Edge is a relative newcomer to Android. It’s been available on Android phones since October 2017, but only arrived on iOS and Android tablets in March this year. It’ll have to work hard to compete with the more established mobile browsers, but the addition of a powerful ad-blocker from a well-known name could be enough to convince some users to make the switch.
Microsoft Edge for Android is gaining traction at five million installs on the Google Play Store, Microsoft’s mobile browser still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to Mozilla Firefox for Android at 100m installs or Google’s own Chrome browser at one billion ‘installs’ which the company requires hardware manufacturers to pre-install on their devices.
Microsoft has made its Edge browser available across a range of devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices in addition to Windows computers. The Edge browser includes syncing of favorites, passwords, and reading lists, along with a “Continue on PC” option for transferring what you’re reading from the mobile Edge browser to the desktop.
Once you have the update, you can activate the ad blocker in Edge’s settings. Adblock Plus will soon be available by default on Microsoft’s Edge browser for Android and iOS as the company has begun to rollout the new feature to beta users. The Edge beta program is currently full, but once spaces reopen you’ll be able to opt in via the Google Play Store.