The only thing surprising about this piece of news is that it hasn’t happened sooner. Google has started removing Ad blocking Apps from it’s Play Store for violating one of it’s rules relating to Apps not interfering with how another App or service performs.
Basically Ad Blocking Apps prevent other Apps or services delivering Ads to the end user, so they are out!
I often wondered how long it would take for this to happen. Google were obviously playing catch up for a long time to Apple’s App Store in terms of raw numbers of Apps available so removing Apps wasn’t a high priority, but now that we pretty much have parity in numbers, Google can turn it’s attention to Apps that are preventing it making money.
Let’s not forget that what ever service or app or platform Google provides, it’s bread and butter is the revenue Ads generate.
In real terms this means little for Android users. It is pretty much just a statement from Google saying that they are not going to let Apps that prevent them from earning revenue be distributed from their own App store.
Android users still have the option to side load Apps and many of these Ad Blocking Apps started life on sites such as XDA Developers Forum and are pre baked into nearly every custom ROM out there.
While still ultimately having the choice to use these type of Apps is great for the end user, I’m sure this move by Google will be welcomed by many App developers who provide free versions of their Apps based on the assumption that they will generate income via in App Ad clicks. Android App piracy is rampant (see our article on Falcon Pro) so if every avenue for revenue is being cut off from developers it will eventually lead to less of them choosing to develop Android versions of their Apps, something none of us want to see happening.
The next big question is, will this proactive action from Google extend to some of their other services such as Chrome?