You will soon be able to choose a different browser when setting up your new Android smartphone. The standard search engine also becomes adaptable.
Adjusting the Android browser becomes standard when set-up
As an Android user, you can of course always install a browser yourself or adjust the search engine, but that was only possible after the device was first set up. However, within the next few months, Google will make this choice part of the setup process. After you insert your SIM card and download backups from previous devices, you can choose from different browsers or search engines in addition to Chrome and Google itself.
The changes are the result of a record fine from the European Commission. It determined last year that Google had to pay 4.3 billion euros because it is in unfair competition with its mobile operating system. Android is by far the most used operating system on smartphones, which, according to the Commission, gives Google considerable advantages in promoting its own services.
European Commission is putting pressure on Google
Although Android is open software, Google is really in control. Until recently, manufacturers were only allowed to place the Play Store on their device if they also supplied a large number of other Google apps. Since an Android smartphone without Play Store is not interesting for many users, almost every device was equipped with a complete suite of Google apps.
Since the end of last year, Google manufacturers have been making a somewhat freer selection in which apps are included. If manufacturers want to include the Play Store, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Photos and Gmail on their smartphone, they will have to pay a one-off fee for this since this year. The apps are still bundled, so manufacturers cannot choose which apps to install on their smartphones.
“We’re going to do more to make Android users aware of all browsers and search engines available for their smartphones,” said a Google spokesperson. “These new changes demonstrate our commitment to operate openly and fairly.”
Whether the European Commission is satisfied with these adjustments is still unknown. The governmental body is today announcing a third record fine for Google later today. What is still unclear – with the announcement of today, Google may hope to finish the news about the fine too quickly.