Google is testing a native ad blocker for Chrome on your phone
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Google is testing a native ad blocker for Chrome on your phone


Your Google Chrome mobile experience is about to get better.
Your Google Chrome mobile experience is about to get better.

Image: imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Google is making a move to upgrade your mobile browsing experience in future versions of Chrome. The search giant is finally banishing those distracting ads that make it more difficult to navigate websites on mobile device’s smaller screens. 

The latest version of the Google’s experimental mobile browser, Chrome Canary, includes a built-in setting that allows users to block websites from showing ads that the search giant deems to be “intrusive.” The barred content includes things like pop-up ads, interstitials, and autoplay video —which have all long been some of the biggest gripes in mobile internet browsing. 

The new ad blocker is surprisingly the default setting for the latest Chrome build, making it clear that Google is preparing to wage war against bad mobile ads, or at least against third-party ad blocking software that has become popular in the last decade. 

We downloaded the new Canary build to confirm that the blocker exists for ourselves after it was spotted by TechCrunch. You can try it, too, if you’re feeling adventurous; just download Chrome Canary from Google Play, head to its Site settings section, and open the “Ads” tab.  

Image: screenshot/google

You’ll notice the ad blocker is enabled automatically, giving users a more streamlined, distraction-free experience by default.

Image: Screenshot / google

The move to build a quality check against ads on mobile isn’t that surprising. The feature was first teased back in April, with reports claiming that the mobile version of Chrome would be the first arena Google would draw up a line against the ads and give the company, the largest purveyor of ads online, even more power over the industry.    

Apple has followed suit in choosing user experience over ads, blocking autoplay videos and throttling ad tracking technology on its Safari mobile browser.

Google’s native ad blocker is definitely part of the Canary build, but we still don’t know when it might reach the consumer version of Chrome for Android, or when it will expand across the aisle to iOS. Google’s reps haven’t yet responded to our requests for comment, so we’ll update the story as soon as we know more.  

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August 1, 2017
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