Opera's ad blocker is now available on all mobile platforms. The built-in feature has now landed in the Opera Mini browsers for iOS and Windows Phone, as well as theOpera browser for Android. This follows the recent release of native ad blocking on Opera Mini for Android and the Opera browser for computers.
Advertising has long powered the internet, enabling users to access online content and services free of charge. However, in recent years, some publishers in the advertising ecosystem have become too aggressive with ads leading to a poor user experience, and users have begun to perceive distracting or intrusive online ads as lessening the web browsing experience. Opera believes in consumer choice and is focused on delivering high quality user experiences across all company products.
"Users are demanding ad blockers because of the better browsing experience it offers," says Nuno Sitima, SVP 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 faster than Chrome and other browsers
Opera for Android, with ad blocker and Opera's signature compression, is able to load webpages faster than other browsers and with greater data savings. Tests show that Google Chrome took 14% longer than Opera to load a webpage on average, while Adblock Browser took as much as 79% longer.
On data savings, the average amount of data Opera for Android downloaded per webpage after removing ads was 229 KB; Chrome consumed 84% more data, and Adblock Browser burned through 3.4 times more data.
Recent research by PageFair confirms the sheer demand for ad blockers on mobile. At present, 419 million people are blocking ads on the mobile web, representing 90% growth during 2015. PageFair also found that the number of people blocking ads on mobile globally is double than that on desktop.
Web apps make progress
Today's Opera browser for Android update also adds support for web push notifications, a cornerstone of progressive web apps. These are apps that run inside a mobile browser, but look and function like regular, native apps. Because they are lighter than native apps, they allow for serious storage and data savings - game changing in emerging markets with lower-end phones and limited data plans.
If a website is a progressive web app - like Washington Post and Flipkart - Opera prompts the user to add it to their phone's home screen. With web push notifications, updates from web apps will appear in the phone's notification area - like a native app.