Google will now allow Android device users across Europe to choose its default search engine from four options. They include Google search. The U.S. company said this as it tries to overwhelm the E.U. antitrust distresses and stave off new penalties.
New Android smartphones and tablets distributed in the European Economic Area will host a ‘choice screen’ displaying four search engines that users can select from. All this will begin in early 2020. Alphabet’s Google confirmed it in a blog post. Search engine providers will be given a chance to bid in an auction to win a spot on the users’ screens. Along with Google, they will become the device’s default search engine on the Android home screen as well as the Chrome browser.
This public sale will get conducted in each EEA country. The U.S. Android application development company said that the first three highest bidders for any given country would appear on the ‘choice screen.’ There was a move by Google the European Commission’s judgment last year. The Commission realized that by forcing mobile network users to install Chrome and to use Google as the default search engine on Android devices, the company created a monopoly for itself. They decided to fine the tech giant $4.81 billion for blocking opponents on its Android mobile operating system. The European Commission supposed that Google had an unfair benefit by preinstalling its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android smartphones and notebooks. Since then, Google has allowed Android users in Europe to select rival browsers and search engines from five selections. Google, on the other side, has found a way to spin this into a money-making opportunity.
The particular search options to be available for android users to choose from will vary by region. Together with Google search, there will be other three options available in each country. These options will be selected using a bidding process. The bidding process will involve Android application development that offers search services informing Google on how much they are willing to pay when a user selects their option. Google will be accommodating bids from search providers from now until September 13th. The final list of providers for each country will get announced on October 31st. The choice screen will debut sometime later in early 2020.
An insight into the announcement
To many, this looks like a pay to play. Erick Leandro, the CEO of Quant, said that his company was without a doubt interested in taking part in the auction. He, however, criticized the specifics of the process. Leandro gave the note of his dissatisfaction that the idea by Google to take cash from the companies just for showing interest through proposals of alternatives. He said that it was yet a sample of the same abuse that brought about the $5 billion fine from the European Union decision.
Others like the DuckDuckGo Android development company CEO Gabriel Weinberg are calling upon regulators to work with Google and other providers. They want to change the ballot box system so that something can get provided that is fair to everyone. Anyone who wants to be on the screen should be given a reasonable opportunity, according to Gabriel Weinberg. Taking a look back to a decade ago, Microsoft was in a similar position. They, however, went to solve the issues differently. The European Union had accused it of inappropriately using its dominance in the operating systems market. It had taken to advantage of the dominance as a means to push its Internet Explorer web browser. The Redmond giant accepted to give a chance to Windows users to choose from a list of various alternatives during the setup.
In irony, Google was one of the many companies that filed the complaint. Mozilla and other Android development services did not need to pay anything to Microsoft. They were allowed to feature on the choice screen or in case a user-selected Chrome as the new default browser.
However, Google has argued that the process is very fair and square. It hat noted in its FAQ that an auction is appropriate. It has added that it is an objective means to determine the search provider to get included in the choice screen. It permits search providers to deliberate on the value they place on being in the choice screen and bid accordingly.
However, there are still gaps in the argument by Google. There stands no guarantee that a user will not switch back to Google after the original setup. Search providers also need to make payments to appear as an option. Furthermore, the choice screen will not be appearing on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy line. The devices come with a preinstalled Microsoft’s Bing.
The actuality is that it’s already probable for any Android user to change their default search provider. They can do the changes manually on their device at any time. It is conceivably fair to say that anyone who cares enough about dodging Google’s search business has already done it. Google’s has a prominence in the internet search realm. Given this, there is every likelihood that a significant portion of users will select Google when setting up their phones and tablets for the first time. However, being offered with the option during setup may be enough to buoy up some users to try something different. It is also worth stressing that users will be able to change back to Google at any time. Therefore, even if they do select Microsoft’s Bing during setup, they could shift to Google 10 minutes later. However, Microsoft would still have to pay for that initial default selection.
Just as frequent, people can continue to customize and personalize their devices at any time after set up. It was noted Google’s product manager director Paul Gennai. This customization will include choosing on the apps to download, changing how apps get arranged on the screen. It will also include switching the default search provider in apps like Google Chrome.