Google has just made a significant move that is likely to impact the way Android users use its services in Europe. According to the latest announcement by the company, in the coming months, Google will start offering current and new smartphone users with an option to select their default search and internet browser apps. This move comes almost a year after the European Commission slapped a record $5 billion fine on Google for its “antitrust practices” in its mobile operating system. As part of the announcement, the company revealed that even though it is appealing the past verdict, it still wants to ensure that it is compliant with the rules.
In addition to this, the company has also stopped asking its manufacturing partners to sign a compatibility agreement which would prevent them from making any Android-based forks. As announced in a dedicated post on its “The Keyword” blog, the company detailed that it has changed the mandatory Google apps requirement for the Google services certification. As part of the changes, smartphone makers in Europe can now license Google apps without the need for pre-installing the Google Search and Google Chrome apps on their devices.
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As a part of the announcement, Google issued a statement adding, “Now we’ll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use.”
Talking about the old and new part of Android users, it is unclear about how the options screen will be presented to users. It is likely that the options may appear in Android during the initial device setup or a server-side switch would push the options screen out of the blue.