For Android users I probably sound like a broken record sometimes—root this, custom ROM that…
One of the big reasons why I root my phones and tablets is so that I can block ads system-wide with AdAway. Today I bring good news for anyone who, for whatever reason, is hesitant to take full control of their Android experience. It’s a new mobile browser from Ghostery, Inc. that blocks all ads from websites you visit. And that’s not even its main gig!
If you’re not familiar with the Ghostery plug-in for Firefox and other desktop browsers, here’s a very dumbed-down explanation of its raison d’être using pizza slices as an analogy:
Android users have been able to enjoy Ghostery with the Firefox mobile browser for a while now, but yesterday the team announced a standalone browser. I installed it this morning; let’s take a look!
When you first launch Ghostery you’ll be invited to share anonymized data to help make the service better. Note that it’s turned off by default. That’s a good sign.
This one you’ll want to turn on, so that Ghostery can do its thing.
Ghostery’s interface is pretty much like any other mobile browser, albeit with the Ghostery plug-in installed. The default search engine is Duck Duck Go—a nice choice for those who value their privacy. If you prefer something else you can enable that in the settings.
So how does it work? Well, here’s the mobile version of The Verge. Notice the counter on the Ghostery icon; wonder what that’s about…?
Tapping on the icon reveals that no less than 13 separate ad and analytics trackers have been blocked. You can enable/disable individual trackers as you see fit—if the site you’re visiting isn’t working properly, for example. Or maybe you work for Krux Digital…?
At any rate, there is literally no reason for me not to recommend the Ghostery browser. The ad-blocking alone is worth the relatively small 1.7 MB download, and blocking trackers seals the deal. Apparently you can import your Chrome bookmarks as well. Even with root and AdAway already onboard, Ghostery has earned a permanent spot on all my Android devices.
Even if you’re not the modding type, Ghostery will give you better control of your mobile browsing experience, no root required. You can download it from the Play Store right here.