AdGuard for Android v2.12

While Apple users are watching and rewatching the new iPhone presentation, we simple Android folk have our own agenda — for example, new AdGuard for Android version! Let's have a look at the new features.

Better performance, better quality

All this could be achieved thanks to the new filtering engine, which we described in great detail in another article.

[Added] Integration with a completely new filtering engine (CoreLibs) #1869

We have been working hard on integration with CoreLibs for a long time, and we are extremely proud and happy to finally switch to it. The importance of it has been mentioned before multiple times, including the aforementioned article, but here's a brief summary:

CoreLibs is a cross-platform filtering engine that will substitute previously used platform-specific engines. Thanks to it, the performance rate will increase drastically (threefold, according to our tests!) and the CPU consumption, on the contrary, will drop significantly (which reflects on the battery juice, of course). We run some simple tests and these were the results, before and after the introduction of CoreLibs:

The unified filtering engine also means shorter development cycles, we no more need to account for the nuances of this or that OS. And finally, many features that only existed for one OS can now be easilly transfered to AG products for other platforms. So expect things like Stealth Mode on Android!

[Added] Self-hosted automatic crash reporting system to catch the app crashes #1908

Most of users are using the stable version and (hopefully) are unfamiliar with this, but for those who use beta new filtering engine (see above: CoreLibs) means more crashes than usual, and to address them quickly we introduced integration with automatic crash reporting system - Sentry. It automatically sends crash reports with all the information that developers need to fix the problem.

For more details on what exactly is being sent, read our Privacy Policy.

Just so you have an idea: more than 120 CoreLibs issues have been resolved since we first added crash reporting to the beta build!

You will be asked about enabling Sentry upon the first launch, or you can manually enable/disable it at any time via the app settings.

Easier communication

It's not enough to have a working app, it should be also easy and convenient in use. And communication between the app and the user is very important. This goes both ways, and soon you'll see what I mean by it.

[Added] Notification channels #1561

Unfortunately, this is something that will only be available to users of Android 8 and newer, as this feature has only been introduced in the more recent Androids.

Taking advantage of this new functionality, we divided our notifications into six categories: Protection Status, License Status, Updates, Outbound Proxy, Firewall and Other. You can not only enable/disable each category separately in the system notification settings, but also manage each of them by tapping on the category name. This opens wide door for customization. Depending on what is important for you and what is not so much, you can, for example, turn some of them silent while keeping the sound for the rest.

For example, you can hide the AG notification icon:

  1. Open AG settings, go to "General" and select "Notifications"
  2. Tap on the "Protection status" item and switch the importance to "Low" (on Android 9 the importance is changed by tapping on the "Behavior" button)
  3. The icon is hidden now!

And this Knowledge base article will answer most of your questions about notification channels, if you have any.

How to hide VPN notification on Samsung? This question goes a bit beyond the topic, but it is asked so frequently, we feel obliged to answer: swipe the VPN notification to the left, tap on the gear icon, select "VPN status" and change the importance to "Low".

[Added] Long press app shortcuts #1111

Another Android feature (available to users of Android 7.1+) that we made use of — long tap shortcuts. As it is obvious from the name, you just need to tap and hold on the app icon to bring up a list of fast actions. Among them are toggling the protection status, fetching AdGuard Assistant or checking for updates.

A note — you can drag any of these options to create a widget.

There are also two smaller buttons for opening app’s system settings and creating an AG widget, respectively.

[Added] Automation settings (Tasker, AutomateIt, etc) #1896

A lot of users asked us about ways to automate some of AdGuard’s functions, like disabling protection when a certain app gets launched — or some more complicated tasks like changing proxy settings. Finally, we deliver, and the in-depth guide to automating AdGuard is already available in our Knowledgebase.

DNStuff

We are not trying to cheat in Duke Nukem 3D, we just added more DNS-related stuff to our app :)

[Improved] DNS functionality #1831

There are two different imrovements hiding behind one task here. First one is, we have upgraded DNSCrypt proxy to version 2. It is a general improvement, v2 is superior to v1 in speed and security.

The other change is a bit more interesting: we’ve added “DNS over HTTPS” (DoH) support. This is an experimental protocol that is more secure due to increased protection against things like eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. You can easily find more technical information about DoH on the internet, but if you don’t want to bother just trust us: it is a nice thing to have :)

[Added] More DNS providers added to the “known by default” list #1811

The more the better, right? Right! This includes such popular providers as Cloudflare Public DNS, FreeDNS and many others. Find one that suits you best!

Conclusion

This, of course, is very far from the complete list of changes. Most of the rest of them are boring fixes and minor improvements, but if you're curious — welcome to GitHub.

We are looking for your comments and wishes for future releases! I hope the next time we'll discuss version 3.0 :)

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Vasily Bagirov

Vasily is working in Adguard since 2014 and started as a helpdesk engineer. Old habits are still alive and kick in sometimes, so he is always ready to chat with users!

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