Thoughts on blokada

I actually entered this thread with the intention of making a suggestion and ended up going off track a bit, as you’ll see below but:

FEATURE REQUEST(s) - Profiles. Having separate profiles saved and the ability to switch to and from them on the fly/at will. So, in other words, being able to have X, Y, Z blocklists and settings/config options set one way for certain activities (a schedule feature could even be incorporated), we’ll call this “DEFAULT” and then having A, B, C blocklists and different (or at least the ability to differentiate) settings/config options, etc., we’ll call this one “LAXED”. These profiles would (obviously) need to persist beyond app closures and power cycles and ideally could be backed up or otherwise imported and exported. I would think that support for 3 profiles per user would serve most users. I don’t know how easy/difficult a feature like this would be to code and integrate but I know this would be HUGELY beneficial for me, as sometimes I end up turning Blokada off when browsing (I know I simply need to configure my white/blacklists properly, and I’ve put effort in to that end however sometimes something is blocked that I want to be blocked most of the time, it just so happens that in the moment, I need it unblocked. This brings me to my other suggestion. This one might not be necessary if you’re able to provide the profiles feature, but it would still be handy IMO and that’t the ability to temporarily lift restrictions/give permission to a domain that would otherwise normally get blocked.

Lastly - a toggle switch to turn AMP Project/Accelerated Mobile Pages on or off on the fly- this one is about as self-explanatory as it gets :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Begin @A_Nonimo post reply:

NOTE: this ended up going much longer than I intended when I set out so out of consideration for the “ants in your pants” crowd (lol My brother has severe ADHD and as such, I can’t send him a text past a few sentences in length otherwise he simply won’t read it), I offer the following (I also put my unplanned rant/diatribe/tirade in a “hide details” box so as not to take up so much space):

I’m not trying to be confrontational but am genuinely curious; why don’t you get the paid version?

TL;DR - you seem to be a prototypical use case for which the few added benefits of Cloud over Libre were conceived of to cater to (this is just my assumption and opinion, I don’t actually know if any such considerations were made)


I hear where you’re coming from and agree with much of your (justified) concerns and general line of inquiry. If Blokada, or any developer/project for that matter is currently offering a free/libre version of an otherwise pay application, it should be expressly stated what, if anything, the differences are. Similarly, what new/added features/benefits a user would enjoy upon upgrading from Libre to Cloud. It’s also important that projects and their devs stick to what they say , especially as it applies to something as sensitive as features found in an app that suddenly has a paid offering where none previously existed and what the new dynamic will mean for users. Blokada has stated that it will continue to develop, maintain and support the Libre version(s) of their apps (which is awesome of them and not at all requred, btw. Just saying) and as far as I can tell, they have kept their end of the bargain.

You seem well educated (is English your first language because if not, kudos my friend. You manage to employ it better than most who know of no other language yet are still unable to nail down the associated grammar and syntax elements), so surely you must concede that when a project makes the kind of decision that Blokada has, that concessions will accordingly have to be made, i.e., some things will have to give/become paid features. This is just a fact of life in modern day society. Unless you’re independently wealthy by way of inheritance or other type of windfall, you need to make sure that a portion of your time is working on something that will produce income, at least enough to sufficiently cover your expenditures and have a few bucks left over to go see a movie or convert or something. Blokada has been very actively developing and maintaining a solitary offering for a lot of years. I don’t know if they had any means of collecting any significant level of income from it but judging by the fact that it was and still is A) Libre or FREE(as in beer and FREEDOM) B) ad-free and C) privacy respecting, I would say that chances are slim they saw much, if anything. Throw in the cost of hosting websites, forums, packages, etc. and it becomes conceivable that they actually lost money on the deal. All that said, you truly can’t fault them for making the decision that they did and frankly, it may have been overdue,

This is just my opinion, as with much of the preceding but the fact that Blokada still offers a Libre version at all says a lot about their priorities, loyalties, etc. Most other projects, assuming they weren’t behind a paywall out of the gate, when the time comes, either they have amassed X amount of users, code has reached maturity/become stable and is ready for release/production or simply a pre-defined date, I would guess that a large majority of them take most, if not all of the features that users had been enjoying on a previously non-paid and transition them to their new home, firmly planted behind a high paywall. They might have a “free app” that gives you a glimpse but is usually essentially worthless, unless you make the upgrade. If it’s a project you like and it provides a service or function that you deem valuable, it generally makes good sense to buy the paid version of the app. Personally I have very few free apps on my device because I have way too many apps as it is and If I use it enough to warrant keeping on my phone, that probably means I use it enough to justify going for the paid version. It helps that most of these apps are open source/FLOSS and also projects I WANT to support, not simply need to because I require the app’s functionality, etc.

So, with all of that said, you absolutely strike me as someone that gets a great deal of use from Blokada ad-blocking services and you clearly see value in it, otherwise you wouldn’t have invested all the time and effort necessary to amass years worth of settings and configurations that presumably are custom tailored to fit you unique needs. You also clearly have a finger firmly on the pulse of what goes on with Blokada from a development perspective. In other words, you’re something of a Blokada power user (an assumption, of course, but the info you provided in your responses and the motivation for them seem to support it). Now I’m not suggesting that every and any power user of the app must elect to purchase and use the paid version of Blokada. They have the choice, just as any user of the app does. However, it begs the question; if your use and continued need of an app is as high/great as yours seems to be with Blokada and that’s not sufficient to warrant/justify upgrading from the Libre version of the app, then… what is? If you can’t afford it, then please discard everything I’ve said here and accept my apologies, as you’re a perfect candidate for and example of why (I believe, at least partially) Blokada offers a Libre version of the application that by almost all measures, is nearly identical to the paid release. Same goes if there are other extenuating circumstances preventing you from making the switch. If there are technical reasons, they might be good to air out here so those with the ability to potentially address any hurdles you’re facing can help.

Long (LONG) story short, you seem like the type of user that would benefit greatly from having the premier offering, however to call it that is almost inaccurate as it barely seems to take priority and Libre seems to get an equal amount of development time.

I’m not a heavy a user as you appear to be but for me, the fact that Cloud doesn’t employ the “fake VPN” approach was enough to convince me to make the purchase, so I can use my preferred VPN in conjunction with Blokada ad-blocking. From a functional perspective, there’s no differece if the ads blocked/served (or lack thereof) and it does seem like my phone is a bit snappier than it was using Blokada5.

This is a personal choice, though, and I respect your right to make yours using whatever logic and justification(s) you see fit. It is of my opinion that you would benefit greatly from the upgrade and it’s only a bit over $1/month, so incredibly affordable but if you disagree with me or are otherwise unable to make the switch, that’s all there is to it. I’d just invite you to make the evaluation while realistically weighing the primary considerations re: usage/need, etc. (again, assuming this is a decision that is within your power to make and there’s nothing hindering your ability to do so.



Put shortly, I don’t have Blokada Plus because I don’t have a credit card. In my country, we use a different system for online payment, which is safer than credit cards, so I don’t see any need to actually have one, as I would only need one for international purchases.

To address some of your post, though
1 - I’m not a native English speaker, actually, so I thank you for your kind words
2 - I’m not a power user either, actually — far from it, though I have nothing but admiration for power users and their God-like ability to code, they’re among the few kinds of people I genuinely envy (I mean, have you seen the creators of CPBL and hBlock debating the difference between the algorithms that generate their lists? It’s so insanely beautiful I can’t even comprehend what they’re saying, no matter how much I honestly wish I did)
3 - you seem to believe Blokada was not a freemium service until Cloud, but it’s always been freemium — Blokada Libre vs Blokada Plus
4 - I agree that they should be remunerated for their efforts, but they always stated they wanted the DNS filtering part of their app to be free and just have the VPN part be paid-to-use, which is very sensible; then they were faced with technical difficulties imposed from the outside by Apple and met them by creating Blokada Cloud, which is also a pay-to-use feature for purely technical reasons that are also extremely sensible. I do not dispute either of that.
But perhaps you don’t remember how many features Blokada 4 Libre had that were discontinued when they had to rewrite their entire code from scratch, and how that affected basically all the users because so many core/essential or otherwise extremely useful features were left out from B5. Features that are sorely missed, even by people who actually prefer B5 for the various other reasons where it is indeed superior to B4. And I do not dispute their narrative that (1) those features need to be reimplemented from scratch, as B5 inherited no code from B4, and that’s why they’re currently discontinued; (2) their first priority is to fix bugs, and only once all bugs are fixed and B5 is stable they can go back to adding the OLD features that B4 ALREADY HAD and B5 doesn’t, then go on to add truly new features beyond those. That narrative is very solid, sensible, and grounded on real data. But the narrative went on, at the time B5 was released, that (3) it is actually easier to implement new features at B5 than B4, and (4) the BLOKADA LIBRE features that were discontinued in the B4 → B5 transition would be all restored as soon as possible and made FREELY AVAILABLE TO ALL USERS, NOT JUST PAID USERS. That’s the part of the narrative that makes me worried, because Blokada Cloud wasn’t part of that plan. And, again, I don’t dispute the necessity to create Blokada Cloud (although a good number of the public Cloud was originally created for — iOS users — seemed to me at the time like they did dispute the necessity of it), nor the fact that creating B6 from scratch takes enormous amounts of time and resources, nor that, once implemented for iOS, there was no reason why Android should be left out. BUT, all the time and resources they spent working on B Cloud is time and resources they did not spend restoring those features we the B5 users feel frustrated because we need them and they are supposedly SO simple to REimplement, yet they haven’t been REimplemented yet. I mean, I accept, we had to wait until B5 was bug-free, and yes, we Android users gladly gave up our spot at the line so that iOS users can have B6, because they simply can’t have B5 anymore (because Apple) and it’s not fair that we get to have any Blokada at all while they’re forced to have none. But now it’s finally our turn, right? All those feature requests piling up regarding B5 will finally be addressed now, right? Or will they break their promises and stop development of B5 entirely, so they can focus exclusively on the Cloud model? Because it is mathematically impossible to run the Cloud model for free, so as for those users who cannot pay, what about them? Will they ever have their feature requests answered? Or should we start looking for a free alternative to Blokada under active development rather than just under extended support? That’s what I’ve been asking (or, at least, bringing to the attention of the developers — they are so happy they managed to make B Cloud work (and not for no reason — if you think about it, the very concept of Blokada Cloud is amazing, that they managed to make it work from scratch in such short time is nothing short of spectacular, and IIUC it’s a revolutionary idea with no pre-existing analogues on the market) that it’s become very easy for them to completely forget that Blokada 5 still exists and think of Blokada 6 as the only official Blokada that needs to be actively developed, while B5 is just a legacy Blokada that hasn’t reached its end of life support yet — that’s not true at all, they aren’t done developing B5 yet, they wouldn’t even have begun to think about Blokada 6 if Apple hadn’t forced their hand). And the reason I bring these issues to the developers’s attention instead of doing something about it myself is precisely because I’m not a power user. I wish I knew how to code — how to create something (like an app or a program or an algorithm, or even a simple Batch or Python script file) out of nothing but lines of a simple, universal coding language (or better yet, by combining different languages, like real coders do) —, but unfortunately, I’m not, and if I truly committed to start learning now, by the time I reached the current know how and expertise of the Blokada developers, they would probably be retired or dead, and Blokada would probably be nothing but a distant memory. Learning to do it ourselves is simply not an option for most users, so we must rely on the developers to do it for us, and I get that they shouldn’t have to do that for free, but IIUC they’re offering to do it for free, that’s the whole point of Blokada and similar projects.

Incidentally, while I don’t particularly use that app yet, the rest of my family constantly uses an app called that is incompatible with Blokada. With Blokada 4/5, it’s simple enough to fix this, all we have to do is program Blokada to not filter requests from this app and voilà, app fixed — but with Blokada Cloud, it’s impossible, because Cloud is conceptually incapable of whitelisting apps the way B4/5 do. So my family wouldn’t be migrating to B Cloud even if we had a way to purchase a license (which we don’t), and I doubt we’re the only ones. Both models should be maintained; each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and we should have the option to choose. And they should make this option clear — the difference between B5 and B6 is not that one is paid and one is not, because B5 and B4 have always been freemium; the difference is that B4 and B5 are local and B6 is cloud, and I doubt the average user will understand that difference until it’s too late if Blokada doesn’t make the difference VERY clear in BIG, BRIGHT LETTERS in a way that even someone with a mental deficiency couldn’t possibly fail to notice (never underestimate the human ability to overlook important information even when it’s actually explicitly provided in the description if it’s not provided in big, bright letters, preferably in its own separate paragraph in bold, possibly inside a glowing frame with lots of arrows pointing at it from all directions; it’s happened to me myself more times than I can count, and I actually do try to make informed decisions whenever possible — I blame it on human nature, neuropsychology, etc)

PS: loved the profiles idea, it’s great (especially if one Cloud account is being shared by multiple family members with different Blokada settings preferences) :+1:

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If you really want to continue this discussion this thread might be more suitable.
Otherwise there’s DMs.
Don’t engage with each other too aggressively otherwise we’ll step in.

I would like for features present in Blokada 4 and 6 to be brought to Blokada 5, assuming you’re still developing that. For instance, the ability to install custom lists, instead of having to conform to the choices available at the GUI; the ability to just type in a website and never have to load it in the first place, instead of being forced to load a website you don’t want to load at least once in order to have Blokada memorise for future reference that you don’t want to load it ever again; the ability to export your settings and logs to a file that can be shared with other Blokada phones, or simply backed up in case you need to reinstall Blokada for some reason; etc.

I also had a very cool suggestion for an entirely new feature, but really, you’re not going to implement even old features that were lost in the migration to B5, so why bother?

V4 will receive maintenance.
The website V5 is now brought to v6 infrastructure and renamed to Libre.
New features will be added to v6 exclusively

So you’re essentially admitting that any features lost in the transition from Blokada 4 to Blokada 5 will never again be available to free users, these are all now PAID FEATURES ONLY?

(which directly contradicts a previous post (which I cannot find because my browser is not supported so trying to navigate this site is too much trouble, but which I distinctively remember existing) in which one of the consumers accused you guys of doing exactly that — making features that used to be free now paid-only — and you guys explicitly stated you were not going to)

(which also contracts all those times it was said that the move to B5 would allow new features to be added in the long run, by you inclusively; guess no new features will be added, nor will any of the old features that were discontinued from B4 will be restored — if you want those features that used to be free in B4, you need to pay for B6; and if you can’t use B6 because you need to whitelist specific apps and B6 doesn’t allow that, you sit and cry because B5 will never have those features and B6 will never be able to whitelist apps even if you pay for it (because B6 relies on cloud filtering instead of in-phone filtering; Blokada no longer actively develops a free solution that blocks from the device itself))

No, I didn’t say that. I said that v5 is now upgraded to v6 and available in two different “flavours”: Play and Libre.
Both of which will be able to receive the same or similar updates and features like that.
Libre still uses local filtering and will continue to do so as long as that’s the best libre approach

I’ve always heard that Blokada 6 “Play” was Blokada Cloud, Blokada 5 “Libre” was a different app at its core with no line of code inherited by B6 (just like B5 is a completely different app than Blokada 4, only B4 and B5 both block from the device itself while B6 blocks from the cloud). Is that not the case?

I totally understand the confusion. I had that myself initially. I’m in the process of discussing this internally so that there’ll be further specification of what’s happening to which app and what is recommended for which user.

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And for those of us who don’t have digital paying methods accepted internationally (my country uses a system called “bank slips”, which is much safer than credit cards, but apparently it didn’t catch on beyond our borders), should we expect at least the old features that were discontinued in the move from B4 to be eventually restored on a free basis, or will they be paid cloud features only from now on?

I’m just an enthusiastic volunteer. I’ve no insights into what’s next. I’m just dancing madly at the tip of a vulcano and try to relay as much feedback as precisely as possible while helping as many people as possible with user errors.
But I’m sure the team will keep you posted :smiley:

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Well, the whole reason for this update is to make only one distinction between the two apps, and it is that Blokada (the official app on the play store) is the paid version and Blokada Libre (only available on the website) is the free app.

But that’s not the only distinction. If you want VPN but you need whitelistable apps, you need the Blokada Plus that runs from your device, not from the cloud. That’s what you’re now calling Blokada “Libre”, only you’ll be using the Plus version that is not Libre. You should have gone with “Blokada Local” vs “Blokada Cloud”. Or left it for what it truly is, “Blokada 5” vs “Blokada 6”.

And one more thing, does that mean I can no longer update my Blokada? It will lose all settings if I uninstall it, and I don’t want to lose years of settings that cannot be backed up and restored. Which is a very much needed feature that used to be free but is now paid-only, and I hope some day it will be available in the free version again.

I think like every change there will be a transition period where we adapt, soon once somebody says Blokada Libre we’ll automatically understand that it’s the local version.

I’ll keep you updated about this.

Fun fact: My merging your posts I’ve completely wasted the timeline.
Well… That happened… I guess you can still figure out what’s been the latest message by looking at the timestamps

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I wasn’t being aggressive, or, at least, not on purpose.

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