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Day 5

A Guide to Mobile Ad Blockers (Part 2)

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This is part 2 of our ad blocker content. Part 1 focussed on the importance of ad blockers and offered strategies for blocking ads on our desktops. See part 1 here. Part 2 turns the focus to our mobile devices.

As discussed in part 1, we pay for ad supported content with our time and attention. Ads interrupt our flow, distracting us from our intentions.

In 2018, many of us use multiple devices, often at the same time. It is reported that 69% of digital media time is spent on mobile devices. Not only does pervasive online advertising affect us when we’re surfing from a computer but we also suffer when surfing on smartphones. Perhaps more so. Ads fill a greater percentage of screen real estate giving our attention little option but to focus on ads.

There are three additional points complications of ads on mobile devices that don't affect desktop.

Firstly, mobile data is still expensive. Constantly downloading files used in advertising (images, fonts etc.) impacts on your data allowance that you pay for.

Secondly, your devices require power to download and run these adverts – power from your battery. In other words, advertising saps your battery faster.

Thirdly, mobile ads appear inside apps we use and games we play. This is far more common on mobile than desktop. It's also more complex to prevent.

With all this in mind it’s a no brainer to stop ads being shown on your device. Right?

However, people just aren’t using ad blockers on mobile. Literally 0%. For improving digital wellbeing, installing ad blockers on mobile is a great place to start.

Strategies

When considering ad blockers for desktop, all major browsers offer ad blocking extensions. But mobile browsers don’t offer the same functionality as easily. We need to consider some alternative strategies.

Use an ad blocking browser

Brave browser for Android and iOS blocks ads and trackers out of the box. It even keeps count to show you how good a job it is doing. If you’re used to using Chrome, switching to Brave will be a doddle.

Ad blocking on iOS

Follow these tips to regain your battery, data, attention and time.

Author

Fraser Deans

Today's article was written by Fraser Deans. Fraser is a Digital Product Designer and founder of The Wholesome Technology Company, focused on practicing and spreading ideas for living well with technology.

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