Google to Allow Android Users in Europe to Choose Their Search and Browser Apps

Google has announced plans of presenting new screens to Android users in Europe, giving them an option to download search apps and browsers of their choice. The new screens will be displayed to users when they open Google Play for the first time after receiving an upcoming update.

These changes have been made in response to feedback received from the European Commission. In July last year, Google was fined a whopping $5 billion by the EU regulators for breaking antitrust laws. The European Commission claimed Google abused Android’s market dominance to bundle its search engine and Chrome browser into the OS. It also made it impossible for phone makers to release devices running a forked version of Android.

As you can see in the illustration below, users will see two new screens: one for choosing search apps and another for browser apps. Each of the screens will contain a total of five apps, including pre-installed apps. Users will have the option to install as many of the apps shown in the screens as they want. The apps shown to users will vary by country. According to Google, apps not installed on a device will be included based on their popularity and will be shown to users in random order.

Google Search and Browser App Options
Google Search and Browser App Options

If a user chooses to install an additional search or browser app, more instruction screens will show up to help him/her set up the new app. Additionally, they will be asked whether they want to switch to a different default search engine the next time they open the Chrome browser app.

Search Engine Choice Prompt
Search Engine Choice Prompt

Google will begin rollout these new screens to users in Europe as part of an update to the Google Play Store over the next few weeks. It should be noted that the screens will apply not just to new Android phones but also existing ones in Europe.


Tony Barratt

Tony is a law student who considers himself to be a smartphone guru. Apart from his perennial love for gadgets, he is also an avid movie buff and a staunch audiophile.