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Microsoft's Edge browser will now block ads for you on Android and iOS smartphones after Microsoft announced an agreement with Eyeo to build the company's Adblock Plus content-filtering and ad blocking extension directly into Edge.

Many browsers -- including Google's Chrome, Opera, and Mozilla's Firefox -- include built-in ad blocking software, but you may be limited to which types ads you can block or to blocking ads just in certain viewing modes.

Adblock Plus is considered one of the most strict content filters, and its ad blocker is available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and other popular desktop and mobile web browsers.

A cut of the action

Eyeo, however, has been criticized for taking a 30 percent cut of ad revenue in exchange for whitelisting major advertisers in its Acceptable Ads program. As part of the program, smaller companies are given a pass, but a website with 10 million ad impressions has to pay to keep its ads from being blocked.

SEE: Android Security and Privacy Starter Kit

Edge was released late last year for Android and iOS and has reached just 5 million installs on the Google Play Store, far behind Chrome and Firefox at 1 billion and 100 million installs, respectively. Microsoft recently rolled out a version of its web browser for on tablets.

Earlier this year, Google tried to preempt the announcement between Microsoft and Eyeo and circumvent the popular Adblock Plus extension by building it own less-restrictive ad blocker into Chrome that does not charge larger sites for whitelisting. The Next Web said Google's ads made $60 billion in revenue last year, and Chrome dominates the browser market, so Google has its own reasons for building an ad blocker into its web browser.

Google also announced that it was creating an ad blocker for Chrome's Android browser, and Mozilla, with its own push to keep user secure, has built an ad blocker and other privacy tools into Firefox.

Edge mobile browser beta

Android users gained access to a beta version Microsoft Edge over the weekend, and iOS customers will be able to enroll in a test program to try out the beta version of the web browser in the coming weeks. Because Adblock Plus is built directly into Edge, users will be adjust the settings without having to download anything or add extensions.

Browser makers have struggled to address user complaints about intrusive ads that degrade the web experience. The popularization of auto-playing videos and ads that force you to wait while they play are routinely cited by the Coalition for Better Ads as being unacceptable, and the coalition is working with large tech companies to address user complaints about cumbersome advertising efforts.

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Takeaways

  1. The Microsoft Edge web browser will come equipped with a built-in version of Adblock Plus for Android and iOS.
  2. Edge users will not have to download any extensions to take advantage of Adblock Plus's stringent content-filtering and ad blocking.

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Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.