Over the past 24 hours now Google has been causing quite a stir online, but not in a good way. Firstly they announced that Google Reader was to be shut down on 1st July 2013 which raised the hackles of a lot of people who have relied heavily on the RSS Feed service for many years, and then earlier today they banned Adblock Plus along with other ad-blocking aps from the Android Play Store.
If you search for the app, or any adblocking app on the Play Store, you will simply receive the standard not found error.
Via the Adblock Plus blog:
In a rather surprising move, Google removed Adblock Plus and other ad blocking apps from the Google Play store due to “interference with another service or product in an unauthorized manner.” This looks like a course change at Google, until recently the main distinction between Android and iPhone was that Android allowed you to install any app as long as it wasn’t malicious (meaning that it’s obvious what the app does). Google Play still allows apps stating “for rooted phones only” but I wonder whether these are next on the list to be removed – each of them performs “unauthorized actions”.
It is important to note though that this doesn’t mean that you can use AdBlock Plus for Android, as obtaining the app via The Play Store is the only issue here. You can still install the app on rooted and non-rooted (stock) devices. If you have a non-rooted device and wish to install the app then you can do so by downloading the latest version of AdBlock Plus directly from their site & side-loading it instead. If you already had Adblock Plus installed on your Android device then it will still keep working although updates will no longer be pushed.
The reason that Google have given for removing the app suddenly is due to it violating section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.
4.4 Prohibited Actions
You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.
The issue discussed in this article does not affect AdBlock Plus for Chrome (Desktop version)