Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.54 2 Aug 2019


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Internet search giant Google has announced big changes for Android users in the European Union.

From 2020, the company will introduce a new way for users to select a search provider.

This will then be used as a default a search box on their home screen and in their browser.

Google says search providers can apply to be part of the new choice screen, which will appear when someone is setting up a new Android smartphone or tablet.

The application process for alternative search providers is now open.

Google says the choice screen will be introduced to new Android phones in Europe in early 2020.

Android users An illustrative version of the choice screen | Image: Google

The move follows a €4.34bn fine by the European Commission last year over illegal practices regarding its Android mobile devices.

The commission said since 2011, Google imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to "cement its dominant position" in general internet search.

"Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company", it said at the time.

The commission said in particular, Google required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and Chrome browser app, as a condition for licensing Google's app store.

Android users File photo

Earlier this year, Google presented Android users with an option to download additional search and browser apps in its Google Play store.

"This follows the changes we made to comply with the European Commission's decision on Android", the company says in a statement.

"As always, people can continue to customize and personalize their devices at any time after set up.

"This includes selecting which apps to download, changing how apps are arranged on the screen, and switching the default search provider in apps like Google Chrome."


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