- Google has revealed how it will ask European Android users to choose their default search engine and browser.
- The company will update the Play Store app to display two new screens, showing search/browser choices.
- Google’s move comes after it was fined by the EU for imposing restrictions on Android manufacturers.
The European Commission fined Google over $4 billion last year for practices related to the bundling of its apps on other manufacturers’ phones. Google has since confirmed that it would inform Android phone owners in Europe of their browser and search engine choices.
Now, the company has taken to its official blog to reveal how this process will actually work. Google says it’ll be showing two new screens when users open the Google Play Store for the first time after an upcoming update. One screen will show alternative browsers, while the other screen will show alternative search engines.
Google says the screens will show the five most popular search/browser apps (albeit in random order and varying by country), while also showing any currently installed search/browser apps. You can then tap to install as many displayed apps as you like.
“If an additional search app or browser is installed, the user will be shown an additional screen with instructions on how to set up the new app (e.g. placing app icons and widgets or setting defaults). Where a user downloads a search app from the screen, we’ll also ask them whether they want to change Chrome’s default search engine the next time they open Chrome,” the company explains on its blog.
Google says these screens are spreading to European users over the next few weeks, and will extend to new and existing Android phones. It adds that this feature will be evolving over time, but didn’t elaborate on what this meant. We’ve contacted the company to clarify how the implementation could change and will update the article accordingly.
These screens come after Google was slapped with a massive fine by the European Commission. The commission found that the company imposed several restrictions on Android device manufacturers and network operators. These restrictions allowed the Mountain View company to cement its search and browser dominance, the commission ruled.