A somewhat "unexpected" AdGuard for Android update — much smaller than a usual one. It contains a couple of hotfixes, which were basically the reason to release this version, alongside several quality of life improvements like separate WiFi/Mobile statistics in "Apps Management".
[Added] Separate Wi-Fi/Mobile stats #1542
Here we introduce one 'visual' change: separate Wi-Fi/Mobile stats on the 'Apps Management' screen. There's now a drop-down menu on the statistics screen that allows you to choose between displaying stats for Wi-Fi, Mobile or all traffic.
[Fixed] Wakelock (caused by GCM_RECONNECT) prevents devices from sleeping #1547
A self-explanatory one. There was an annoying bug with "Wakelock" that prevented the device from entering sleeping mode.
Some users started to encounter a network error while using applications (YouTube, Google Plus, Facebook Messenger and some others). This update is a hotfix for that issue: #1334
The new version is not excessively rich with new additions and other changes - more will come in v2.10 and, eventually, in Adguard v3.0. However, there is still one big highlight - we have vastly reworked and improved the User filter. Read below to find out the details.
[Improved] The user filter has been reworked #1279
Any experience of interacting with the previous incarnation of User filter could not be described with any other word but 'miserable'. It used to be clunky, unresponsive and slow. A lot has changed in this version.
First, the new design. It has become much cleaner.
As you will see, we have combined all of the control elements - add a new rule, clear the filter, edit the filter, import and export - under one toolbar menu.
Second, you now have an option to enter the so-called "edit mode" that brings up the multiline text edit area. It is very handy if you need to copy/paste/delete multiple lines of text at once, or just edit several rules in a row without clicking on each and every one of them.
Finally, the general way it looks. Rules are color-differentiated depending on their type, comments are distinctively visible and every rule can be disabled and enabled back without having to delete and re-create it.
If you have any interest in creating and maintaining a list of your own rules, you are going to, without any doubt, welcome these changes. We, personally, are very excited! :)
$networkmodifier doesn't work #1268
This is arguably the biggest we've changed our app since v2.5 or even since the introduction of the new design back in Adguard v2.0. Some of these changes were meant to be introduced only in the 3.0 version, but we couldn't wait any longer :) Significant changes to UI, the long hoped-for filtering log feature, other new options - all this and much more awaits you in this update.
[Improved] New app navigation system #969
Alright, we realize that when it comes to changing the design, there's going to be a controversy. There will always be those who find it better than the old one, and there will always be those who don't. Our hope the majority of users will find the new navigation system more convenient.
What exactly has changed? There is now a side menu, which will help to navigate through the app more easily. Besides that, we can finally utilize the context menu in the top-right corner, you can find an example of this in 'Apps Management' section. By the way, 'Apps management' will now include all Firewall settings as well. Having these two sections together at the same time felt excessive and confusing.
[Added] Filtering Log #11
Oh, boy. Anyone who has ever tried to check what's being filtered/blocked knows the struggle of inspecting Adguard's log file. It was the only way, and I doubt there is a single user who found it convenient. No surprise, as it was initially meant to be used by filters developers only. We were thinking: 'Why would anyone want to see on such deep level what do their apps do?'. We had been completely ignoring tech savvy people who do care about it and do want to have a complete control of what is going on on their device.
We'd like to apologize for this. We should have implemented filtering log functionality a long time ago. Well, better late than never. The filtering log has arrived, come and see for yourself. We don't expect to hit the nail on the head on the first try, so your feedback on what's lacking and what you can live without is invaluable.
[Added] An option to not filter HTTPS on websites with 'Extended Validation' certificate #934
Adguard for Windows users are familiar with this option already. Extended Validation SSL certificates grant that the owner of the certificate has gone through a very strict process of verification. The trust for such certificate owners is much higher - those are usually banks, other financial organizations etc. Often times there are zero or close to zero ads on their websites, and filtering them is excessive anyway - it only increases the chance to break something useful.
[Changed] VPN autopause is now disabled by default for new Android devices (Pixel, Nexus with Nougat) #1000
From the beginning, the VPN autopause functionality was not 'a feature'. It is a workaround for some known Android issues and bugs. For example, tethering could not work along with a VPN, or Adguard's network access could be denied in power saving mode.
It seems that all these issues are sorted out in the newest Android devices, so we have disabled autopause functionality for them. You can turn it back ON in Adguard's low-level settings if needed.
[Added] Bulk change functionality for the Apps Management section #1063
Available from the context menu that we have already mentioned above, it grants a fast and easy access to the most common settings that can be applied to all apps at once.
[Added] A new advanced preference: a list of networks which LAN should be filtered for #1154
Initially, there was just a bug that prevented Adguard from filtering ads in Moscow subway Wi-Fi network. Turned out that wi-fi.ru is located inside of a LAN, which we exclude by default. Rather than making an exception for this particular network, we decided to choose a more broad approach and create a new preference.
[Added] 'Watchdog period' advanced setting #1067
Depending on the firmware, Android might be very aggressive to background services, killing them really frequently. In Adguard case this aggressive behavior may be truly destructive. This feature starts a special 'watchdog' service, which keeps Adguard's main process alive. However, it is disabled by default as most of the Android devices do not suffer from the 'random process killing' issue.
It hasn't been long since we have released an urgent hotfix for Adguard v2.8, and today there is going to be another one. It is not normal when such things happen, we realize it, and want to apologize to all of you. We'll do our best to avoid such situations in future.
The most major fixed problem concerns one of the low-level settings - pref.vpn.ipv4.bypass, which, as the name suggests, allows to disable filtering for all ipv4 traffic. It was simply missing in the latest release version.
Along with the problem mentioned above, a couple of other issues were addressed.
An important hotfix for the recent release of Adguard v2.8. It contains only one, but crucial fix:
[Fixed] Routes exclusion string bug #939
This bug affected Adguard's work in WiFi networks and could lead to several problems, such as: no filtering fore some websites, local network FTP-server disability, incorrect functioning of WiFi calling feature.
Finally, it's time for Adguard for Android 2.8 to come to light! It brings the ad blocking quality to the next level with several big novelties such as Simplified domain names filter or extended CSS support. Many new low-level settings will allow advanced users to customize app to their liking, and for all the rest we bring quite a few quality of life improvements and bugfixes. We hope everyone finds something useful in the new Adguard for Android version.
[Added] Support for Extended CSS and Extended Selectors #810
Extended CSS support is a very important addition in terms of future (and present) possibilities that it opens for ad blocking. Extended CSS is a module for applying CSS styles with extended selection properties. Basically, it means that we will be able to select and, therefore, block some elements that we would not be able to block otherwise. Currently we support following pseudo-classes: -ext-has ( :has ), -ext-contains ( :contains ), -ext-matches-css ( :matches-css ).
'Extended selector' is a technical term, but what hides behind it? With extended selectors support, we can much more easily create some rules that were very, very hard to create earlier. Notably, this concerns rules required to block such things as 'Sponsored posts' on Facebook.
[Added] Simplified domain names filter #876
Fresh addition to the Adguard filters family. Simplified domain names filter is composed of several filters (English filter, Social media filter, Spyware filter, Mobile ads filter, EasyList and EasyPrivacy), modified for better DNS filtering. It blocks ads and trackers wherever it is possible to indicate own DNS addresses. Note that it will block the whole domains and not the specific URLs. You can learn more about DNS blocking by visiting our website adguard.com.
[Changed] "Filter DNS requests" feature is now available for non-premium users #875
With Adguard DNS introduced and being free, there is no point in keeping this Adguard for Android feature paid. Now it will be equally accessible for all users alike. There is still plenty of good stuff in the Premium version of the app :)
[Added] pref.root.clear.youtube low-level flag #907
This option will allow rooted users to automate removing Youtube app data, which appears to be crucial for blocking ads in it. By the way, in one of the recent articles in our blog you can find a detailed guide to blocking ads in YouTube app.
[Added] pref.vpn.ipv4.bypass low-level setting #909
If this option is enabled, Adguard will ignore all IPv4 connections. This might appear wierd and unnecessary, but in reality it allows to use Adguard as a 'DNS-level' ad blocker. You only need to enable the following options: pref.vpn.ipv4.bypass, pref.vpn.ipv6.bypass, DNS requests filtering and Adguard DNS filter (the latter is not crucial, but will help immensely with blocking ads in browsers). Adguard will cease filtering other apps' traffic, and will only block ad domains on the DNS requests level. As a result, ad blocking quality will drop and Firewall functionality will not be available, but also there will be close to zero performance penalty.
Lots of other minor issues and compatibility fixes. The full list can be found in our GitHub repository inside the descriptions of previous beta versions.