Android changes: users must choose browser and search engine

Do you have an Android smartphone? Soon you'll be able to choose which browser or search engine to use in addition to those provided by Google

In 2018, the European Commission fined Google $5 billion for abusing its dominant position. The EU Competition Commissioner imposed the largest fine in history on the Mountain View giant because it did not give its users the ability to choose their search browser and search engine, imposing its own.

For this reason, Google was forced to run for cover, launching new features for these two settings. In the official blog of the company, the director of the department that manages services and products, Paul Gennai presented a series of new features that will be introduced with the update of Google Play Store. Thanks to these changes, the Californian company will allow users to select a browser and a search engine different from Google and Chrome, so as to comply with the provisions of European antitrust regulations.

Browser and search engine: here are the novelties for Android users

In its official blog, Google announced an upcoming update that will involve Android devices. Specifically, new features will be introduced both in the Google Play Store interface and in the browser used in the smartphone. These are shown in a series of screenshots.

Google Play Store: what the new interface will show

In the new Google Play Store interface will appear 4 alternative apps, which will vary by country, based on their popularity. They will be introduced by an explanatory text that reads "You can now choose an additional search service for your device". In the screenshot, in addition to Google Search, Qwant, DuckDuck, Ecosia and Seznam are also proposed.

Another screen, also taken from Google Play shows 4 different browser options. Again, besides Google Chrome, the interface shows Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Puffin. This way, users can more freely choose which search engine and browser to install and use, in addition to Google Chrome and Search already present in the smartphone by default.

These screens will be displayed by the user who opens Google Play Store for the first time after the update. The system will also provide additional information and instructions explaining the reason for the upgrade and other solutions to set up the newly installed apps.

Android browser: the new Chrome interface

As mentioned, the upgrade will also show a new Google Chrome interface. Whenever you want to start a search or browse online, the following message will appear on the Home screen: "You can now choose your own search engine" flanked by a button that allows you to set up an alternative browser.

The update will arrive on all Android phones in Europe, so that the devices comply with the European Commission's ruling, which aims to avoid Google's monopoly in the many devices spread across the Continent.