After the record fine of $5 billion received by Google last year from European authorities, Google is starting to make the first steps in fixing the errors that caused this whole situation. Paul Gennai, the the Product Manager Director of Google has revealed that soon Android smartphones will allow users to choose a new search engine and internet browser.
The European authorities fined Google last year for unfair competition towards other companies and rival apps for Android. All Android phones came pre-configured with the Google search engine and Chrome web browser. most users ignoring alternatives from other companies. So, starting with the new device that will be released in the next few weeks, Google will offer up to four alternatives for every category.
When you first start the phone, after the initial configuration process, the Google Play Store will display two new configuration screens. First you will see a list of search engines, Google being the first and already installed, but with four alternatives: Qwant, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia and Seznam.cz. The second configuration screen presents the Chrome browser in the upper side but it also offers popular alternatives such as Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Puffin web browsers, alternatives that can be installed directly from the screen.
According to Paul Gennai, the lists of web browsers and search engines are different based on the user’s region. They will list the most popular alternatives in the area and their order is random in order to not favor a specific service or web browser.
Other software changes for Android phones will arrive later. Google will also remove the need of pre-installing Google services on smartphones in Europe. Google also said that the company will introduce a new licensing program for its services, and smartphones manufacturers will be able to license each service separately without having to install the entire Google Suite software package.