Samsung unblocks ad-block plugins from its Android browser

Also adds 'secret' browsing mode that encrypts your history

Creating its own ad-blockable browser for Android is a step too far for Samsung, but it has decided to let third-party blockers into the tent.

It's part of an update posted to its Samsung Developer site on March 21, that's mostly flown under the radar until it was spotted by Android Authority among others.

As the developer documentation notes, Version 4.0 of its Samsung Internet for Android's content blocking extensions “may even reduce your data usage, speed up loading time and reduce battery usage”.

There's also a secret browsing mode that goes beyond “incognito” windows by requiring user authentication, by protecting and encrypting browsing information (El Reg bets the FBI will just love this).

If you have a recent device like a Galaxy S6 or S7, Samsung says “secret mode never reveals your browsing data (including browsing history, search history, cookie, cache, ID/password, auto-fill data).

“In addition, Secret mode stores bookmarks and saved pages in a separate space with encryption, using the same level of security as Samsung KNOX.”

Version 4.0 also lets users set fingerprint authentication for their Web logins, and integration with KNOX lets organisations apply security policies to Web access.

Videos can now be opened as popups so you can keep browsing while the video loads or plays (for HTML5 content), and the new version maintains video history separately from browsing history.

Version 4.0 is available for Galaxy S7+, S7, Note5, S6 Edge+, S6 Edge, S6, S6 Active, Note4, S5, S5 Neo, S5 Active, S5 Sports, S5 LTE A, Note3, S4, S4 Duos, S4 Active, S4 LTE A, A7, A8, A5x, A7x, and A9x devices.

Oh to be a fly on the wall if this is discussed in a meeting between Samsung and Google, given the latter's dependence on advertising everywhere. Or perhaps Google won't mind: Chrome finds its way onto most Androids and Samsung's apps are hardly screaming up the charts. ®

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