SUWON, South Korea – Samsung Electronics Co. has enabled filters inside its default Android browser so that users can block ads. Samsung owners, whose devices run Android Marshmallow, are now able to choose the ad units they want to see and render websites a lot faster.

Adblock will become available for Lollipop in the coming months. Until yesterday, users could set up ad blockers on Samsung phones and other devices running Android, but now the South Korean company is enabling extensions on its pre-installed browser. Prior to this, the functionality was only reserved for app developers.

Photo: EFE/YNA

“Adblock Fast is free to install and open source, and already boasts 200,000 users across the various platforms it’s available on. The company says that the plugin decreases load times on Android by an average of 51 percent”, reads a report by The Verge.

Users are now also able to block certain images or words, aside from regular ads. App developer Rocketship is already authorized to enable Adblock Fast inside the Samsung Internet browser. Although the app is available on iOS, Chrome and Opera, Samsung has enabled the ad blocking feature inside its browser through an over-the-air update that started working today.

The app is at users’ disposal on Play Store as a standard download. All they need to do is to tick those boxes, simply download Adblock Fast and enable it.

Adblock Fast and Adblock Plus are among the apps that already have Samsung-supported ad-blocker extensions, as well as Crystal, an app that became very popular when Apple first announced it supported content blockers last year.

The ad industry is certainly having a hard time now that both Apple and Samsung have opened their browsers, given that millions of smartphone users are now able to use web filters on their devices. But there is an imminent impact on publisher’s ability to earn money by sharing “free” content.

It remains unclear how much of an impact the Samsung announcement will cause, since most Android users are most likely to use other browser apps such as Google Chrome browser. Still, the Samsung move might lead people to switch to Samsung Internet just to have access to the ad blocking.

According to comScore, Apple is the smartphone leader in the United States, as the Cupertino firm commanded 44.1% market share in November. However, Samsung still figures as the largest smartphone maker in the world, as stated by an IDC report released in the third quarter of 2015. In the U.S. the South Korean company is followed by LG at 9.1% and Motorola at 4.7%.

Source: The Verge