Google introduces search app and browser options for Android users in Europe
In July 2018, the European Union found Google guilty of violating antitrust regulations, and subsequently imposed a fine of $5 Billion. The EU held that Google “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.” After the ruling, Google announced changes to how it did business in the EU, allowing Android partners to build forked smartphones for the European Economic Area, and introducing a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones shipped into the EEA, among other changes. Today, Google has announced that it will present additional app options for Search and Browser on smartphones for users in Europe.
Users in Europe will now be presented with additional screens on their Android devices. These setup screens will present options to download additional search apps and browsers, each screen containing a total of five apps including any that are already installed. The additional apps that would be listed will be based on their popularity (we presume in the Play Store — Google has not specified this parameter in their announcement), and these options will be displayed in a random order so as to not cause any further prejudice and bias. The apps shown will vary by country. Users can choose to install as many of these apps as they would want.
If any additional search or browser app is installed, more instructions screens will follow to help the user set up the new app. If an additional search app is installed, the user will also be prompted if they would want to change the default search engine within Chrome the next time they open Google’s browser.
These new screens have begun rolling out through an update to the Google Play Store and should reach all phones over the next few weeks. These will apply to both new and existing Android phones in Europe. Users will be presented these screens when they open the Play Store after the app gets this update.
Source: Google Blog