Just in case newspapers (and just about everyone else) weren’t having enough trouble making money from online ads, there’s a growing number of browser tools like Readability that let you strip those ads away. TidyRead is a new one that works pretty well and has been rolling out a number of features in the last couple of weeks, including support for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Once you’ve set things up properly, TidyRead works pretty much the same on your computer and on your mobile device — you just hit a button on your browser, then the service brings up a version of the page you’re on (say, a VentureBeat article) in a nice, simple layout, with text, images, and no ads. It’s a little harder to set up on the phone. You either sync your bookmarks between the desktop and mobile versions of Safari (a pain if, like me, you don’t use Safari on your computer), or you manually use your phone to bookmark a specific page on the TidyRead site, then edit the link down to the relevant JavaScript. But on a phone, the benefits are bigger too, because there’s so much less screen real estate, so ads or any other wastes of space are much more annoying.

Other new features include a bookmarklet called TinyTidy that allow you to create shortened URLs (via TinyURL) that link to TidyRead-processed pages. Site owners can also add some code that creates a button on their pages, and when a user pushes the button they get a TinyRead version of that page. But why the heck would a publisher want to make it easy for a reader to ignore their ads? I asked TidyRead’s Matthew Chen, and he pointed out that it’s a convenient way to create a mobile version of a site.

As for revenue, Chen says he’s thinking of three possible ways to make money: A service for site owners to create mobile pages, placing advertising along search results of TidyRead pages (that’s right, an ad-hiding service plans to make money through ads; oh the irony), and licensing the technology to other companies. TidyRead is based in Cupertino, Calif., and is self-funded.

Even more interesting than how this service can make money is what will happen if it starts to take off — there’s bound to be some resistance and backlash from publishers. I definitely hope that most of you don’t start reading VentureBeat pages without ads. Please.