Google is now giving European Android users a choice of which browser to install
Hey Google, why can’t we choose in the US?
Google hasn’t had a great time in the European Union recently, with the search giant getting some record fines from the European Commission. The penalties dished out weren’t all financial though, with Google needing to make some major changes to how it packages Android in the European Union area.
Those changes are now starting to roll out, with Android users in the EU now being given a choice of search engine and web browser. In a blog post outlining the changes, Google showed some screenshots of how the change will affect EU users. Once the updated version of Google Play gets opened for the first time, some extra screens will pop up, giving the user some choices.
One screen will give a choice of five search services, including any that are already installed on the device. The remainder of the list will be populated from the most popular alternatives for your region. On the example screen Google posted, it seems like two of them are actually browsers, so it looks like they still need to work on the implementation.
The second screen will give a choice of five web browsers, again with any already-installed browsers as part of the options, filling the list from the top web browsers from user data in your area.
Google says that the choices are randomized, and not shown in popularity order
It does appear that any already installed apps on the device are put to the top of the list, which for most Android handsets would mean that Google Search and Google Chrome would take the first spots.
There will also be a third prompt, shown if the user decides to install one of the non-Google search engines, which will ask if they want to change Google Chrome’s default search engine to the newly installed one.
This need to present users a choice of services reminds me of the huge anti-trust suit against Microsoft in the ’90s, when the software giant was found to have abused its position of power by pushing Internet Explorer to users instead of giving them a choice of browsers. While Microsoft got off relatively easy, it seems the EU isn’t about to let Google off with a virtual warning.
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