Block ads automatically with this fresh, speedy new browser

Avoid ads, ad traps, and pop-ups with Ad Block for iOS devices.

Apple's built-in browser, Safari, is not very friendly to outside plug-ins or services. For them to work, often a proxy or invasive app is needed that can access your data. It's not an ideal solution. So, AdBlock for iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, produced as a hobby by developer Benjamin Loewe, is a fantastic solution. Designed and implemented as a standalone Web browser, AdBlock promises to stop pop-ups, layer ads, blinking banner ads, and subscription traps from appearing on screen -- an increasingly common problem in the age of smartphone Web browsing. The browser starts up immediately, much like Safari, and because the AdBlock is built in, it works without any additional setup.

During testing, we did not see, experience, or need to remove any ads on screen including on sites that regularly delivered such ads in Safari. So, the ad block component works as advertised. However, because AdBlock is a browser that replaces the use of Safari, it must be rated in those terms as well. To start, Loewe uses as many built-in iOS 6.0 tools as he can, including the share menu and a modified bookmarking button. The Lite version of the app is as bare-bones as any browser, offering no options and no way to open more than one Web page at a time, but for a small fee of $0.99 you can upgrade to the Pro version and access basic options like start-up pages, icon changes, and privacy settings. You can also open as many as eight tabs at a time.

While AdBlock is a very simple browser with far fewer options than either Safari or Chrome, it is fast and it does exactly as it advertises in blocking ads. While a built-in search bar and additional functions like history tracking would be good upgrades to see in the future, the core of what AdBlock does is done very well, making it a must download for anyone tired of stumbling across ad after ad when surfing on their iDevice.

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