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Google has gone mad. They just removed ad-blocking apps from Play Store, including AdBlock Plus and AdFree Android.

google_dont_be_evil [1]

In what can only be described as a stunning move, Google has recently pulled all ad-blocking apps from Google Play Store, the official Android app store. This includes AdBlock Plus [2] (which allows for blocking of ads without root), AdFree Android [3], and AdAway [4].

According to an official blog post by the developers of AdBlock Plus, Google says the apps have been removed because they “interference with another service or product in an unauthorized manner”. It isn’t entirely clear which rulebook Google is looking at to justify the removal of ad-blocking apps. However, seeing as Google makes most (aka all) its money from advertising and mobile ads are the next big ad platform, one can only think Google has decided to block ads to protect its wallet. And I don’t mean Google Wallet.

Of course these apps can still be downloaded from other app stores and off the developer’s websites and then sideloaded onto Android devices. So it isn’t like you cannot block ads on Android anymore. However, the point isn’t that these apps are not longer available for Android but rather that they are no longer available on Play STore.

First Google releases an insanely expensive laptop [5] (Chromebook Pixel), very unlike Google. Then they decide to discontinue an insanely popular RSS reader [6], Google Reader. Now they are looking to threaten the foundations Android has been built upon — freedom and choice — by blocking ad-blockers. Has Google gone off the deep-end? Or are they going to the dark side (aka Apple country)? Sound off in the comments [7] below!

[Thanks Igor, via Adblock Plus blog [8], image via Steve Rhodes [9]]