Opera has brought native ad blocking to the iOS and Windows Phone versions of its web browser, meaning all mobile platforms can now rid themselves of intrusive, and sometimes dangerous, advertising on the web.
The company introduced the feature to the Android and desktop editions of Opera earlier this year, claiming some publishers are displaying adverts that are too intrusive or distracting and lead to a poor web experience.
Many use ad blockers because they find ads intrusive while others believe some creatives slow down system performance, use excessive amounts of data and reduce battery life, while others hold security fears. A number of advertising networks have been used to launch malvertising attacks in recent times.
“Users are demanding ad blockers because of the better browsing experience it offers,” says Nuno Sitima, senior vice president of Mobile Browsers, Opera. “Opera users can speed up their mobile surfing, skip extra data charges and stretch their internet packages even further by blocking in the browser intrusive and data-wasting ads and heavy tracking.”
Opera claims its browser with ad blocking and data compression enabled, Opera is faster and saves more data than rival browsers such as Chrome.
Research from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) suggests one in five British adults use ad blocking, but would be less likely to do so if adverts didn’t interfere with what they were doing. However nearly two thirds claimed they prefer free, ad-supported content to a subscription-based model.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has suggested the government might step in to aid publishers in their battle against ad blocking software amid rising concerns within the industry.
The Android browser has also been upgraded with multi-windows support and adds push notifications for web apps.
“The addition of web push notifications support further solidifies Opera for Android’s commitment to progressive web apps, an emerging set of technologies that bring websites closer to native apps in terms of functionality and look-and-feel, and which are backed by Google, Opera, Mozilla and other big players in the web industry,” said Opera.
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