Google Yanks Ad Blockers from Play Store, Citing Developer Violations

Well, it was only a matter of time: Google has pulled all of the ad blocking apps from the Google Play Store, leaving customers with no way to avoid the ads that pop up in their apps. If you haven’t already bought one of the blockers, you’re going to have to tolerate those little banners that tend to pop up while you’re using free apps. AdFree Android, Adblock Plus, and others are already gone.

Adblock Plus for Android on website

The move isn’t surprising, given that the Google Play developer distribution agreement bars apps from materially changing other apps without authorization. Ad blockers stop other apps from displaying ads, so it’s hard to argue that the blockers aren’t making real changes to the way other apps work. Even so, the move is surely going to annoy some users who enjoyed the freedom that Android seemed to offer, but the truth is that the Play Store is still a pretty no-holds (well, few-holds) barred type of place; the Prohibited Actions section of the distribution agreement really only bars the unauthorized use in question and using customer info outside of the Play Store.