+ Thursday June 27th, 2019

If you’re like me, you’ve used Google’s Chrome browser for a number of years now. It offers great features – cross-platform browser syncing, extensions, it’s fast and free – but it’s not perfect. We make do with its fairly crummy memory management because overall it’s a good experience, but Google’s about to take it a step backwards.

One of the great things people enjoy about Chrome is ad-block extensions which prevent some of the nastier experiences on the web. Advertising keeps websites like ours running, and we like to think we keep the advertising pretty subtle, but some websites take it to the extreme, and for them, ad-blocking is almost essential.

However, Google has confirmed that in a future release (and not distant future, we mean quite soon) the ability for ad-blocking extensions to do their thing will be removed.

The proposal–dubbed Manifest V3–will see a major transformation to Chrome extensions that includes a revamp of the permissions system. It will mean modern ad blockers such as uBlock Origin—which uses Chrome’s webRequest API to block ads before they’re downloaded–won’t work. This is because Manifest V3 sees Google halt the webRequest API’s ability to block a particular request before it’s loaded.

9to5Google highlighted a single sentence buried in the text of Google’s response to the complaints, which clarified the changes:

“Chrome is deprecating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API in Manifest V3, not the entire webRequest API (though blocking will still be available to enterprise deployments).”

If ad-blocking matters to you, what can you do now?

Probably the easiest alternative browser to switch to for Google Chrome users will be Brave; it works almost exactly the same way, supports Chrome Extensions, and has native ad-blocking functionality built into the browser, which isn’t dependent on extensions to work. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, Mozilla’s Firefox is an extremely capable Chrome alternative, and while it doesn’t support the same extension format, it has a healthy library of its own which make migrating from Chrome to Firefox very easy.

Will you be sticking with Chrome if it forces you to view all the ads on the web? I know I probably won’t … I don’t mind display ads, but pop-up, full-site takeover ads just drive me nuts.

Firefox Browser fast & private
Firefox Browser fast & private

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Livia Melville
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Livia Melville

What about AdsKiller plus? I use it on my PC and it’s great. But will it still work when stupid Chrome takes it away? I might as well as go back to Internet Explorer!!?? Or start using my Firefox again. Dumb Chrome is placing our privacy at risk, then they’ll wonder why people are leaving them!

Stupid ads are on everything we use, TV, phones, PC etc. If they have to “make money” by advertising on our phones/PC then they can just drop off! Damn annoying!

Any other good suggestions?

paul Godden
Guest
paul Godden

Looks like a switch to Brave

Dave
Guest
Dave

Brave sounds great.. but if they ate unable to even maintain a version for current distributions what is the point?

I’d suggest you stop over reacting and get on with your life…

Nikita Malone
Guest
Nikita Malone

We like to think we keep ads subtle… Right above a 3cm square ad. That’s kind of funny.

Zeta
Guest
Zeta

Migrating.

Caxmoo
Guest
Caxmoo

For most Android users, Chrome is useful for cross platform synchronisation where you can find all your data just by logging into your Google account, this feature makes Chrome preferred over a number of browsers in the industry and migrating to another browser such as Brave or Opera will not benefit the user at the same level as using Chrome (although these browsers are based on chromium project) due to that these browsers have limitations to data syncing and have no access to the entire Android system on the user’s Android device as despite compatibility with Chrome regarding search engine,… Read more »

David Anderton
Guest
David Anderton

Pretty sure you can sync Firefox

Tony
Guest
Tony

Brave can sync too, using that now. I don’t use Android because blocking the ads is harder than on the alternative.

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Not sure about anyone else but I don’t want my browser having unfettered access to my Android system. I don’t want any app having too much access to anything, convenience is not worth the data invasion.

iHateAds
Guest
iHateAds

It will be interesting to see how many migrate from Chrome. Adevertising is a scourge that operates on the misconception that ppl actually click on ads deliberately. It’s understandable that Google wants to stop ad blocking as they’re a digital advertising company. I will certainly be migrating.

Ray Wells
Ausdroid Reader

AdGuard. Separate app or simply use their free DNS servers (assign per device and set it on your router). Works extremely well too and it’s not limited to JUST Google Chrome either. Haven’t used an Adblock extension for yonks!!

They have a 50% off sale at the moment as well if you wanted to purchase their app.

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Those using Opera – it is owned by the Chinese, so don’t think your personal data (logins, bank details, etc) is safe whilst using Opera.

Tony
Guest
Tony
Phil
Guest
Phil

Highly recommend brave. It’s basically chrome before Google decided to be evil.

Plus the bat rewards, while not for everyone and still in its infancy is a bonus that could genuinely change the way websites are run.

Ben Johnson
Guest
Ben Johnson

The days of Chrome are OVER if Google is stupid enough to do this. I can’t believe they’re so arrogant. I’d even ditch my Pixel, Chromebook and Gmail if they push ahead with this DUMB idea.

Ben Johnson
Guest
Ben Johnson

The days of Chrome are OVER if Google is stupid enough to do this. I can’t believe they’re so arrogant.

WAZ
Guest
WAZ

I’ve been using Opera for years now. Almost half the memory usage compare to Chrome, more sleaker and features than Firefox AND many Chrome extentions work on it. You have to install an extension that allows Chrome extentions to work on Opera.

SteveT
Guest
SteveT

Looks like back to Firefox for me when Chrome ad blocking gets killed off.

Will consider Edge Chromium if that turns out to be a good browser.

Ld d
Guest
Ld d

Article misses the fact that there is a replacement API being introduced at same time. So as blockers in Chrome will continue to exist. No need to switch browsers.
See other articles that mention “declarativeNetRequest”

Jack Bauer
Ausdroid Reader

Also Opera

Ash
Guest
Ash

Edge also has ad blocking. Currently using that on my android. Once edge switches to chromium I’ll be switching to that on PC

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

Unlike Brave, Kiwi browser supports plugins on Android.

ACA
Guest
ACA

Very nice article. Even though I had Brave installed on both my PC and mobiles for a while I didn’t know much about BAT Rewards program. I will now start using Brave as my main browser and send some tips to Ausdroid to support as well. Great job guys. Shame on you Google!

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Brave and Firefox Focus have been my main browsers for a couple of years now because I’m not interested in ads. Sometimes Microsoft Edge.

Although I do use a Chromebook now, Chrome browser is like bloatware on Windows and Android.

Badapple
Guest
Badapple

Opera browser is also good. It also has the benefit of being able to be used as a Facebook Messenger.. (if you dont want to install either of the Facebook apps) since Facebook hasnt worked out its still capable of being a Messenger client on Android yet. Has all of the browser syncing functions etc…

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Opera browser used to be good until about the time it was being flogged off to the Chinese, no thanks.

Dean Rosolen
Ausdroid Reader
Dean Rosolen

I hardly ever used Chrome on PC anyway.

IMO, this decision possibly raises some antitrust issues because one of Google’s core businesses is advertising.

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