New Delhi: Google has announced several changes related to Android and Play Store.
With this, where users will get the facility of default search, they will get rid of preloaded Google apps. Know about these changes and their effects…
In one of its reports, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleged a violation of competition norms by Google in the country’s smartphone ecosystem.
After a lengthy legal battle, Google agreed to the CCI guidelines and decided to make changes related to Android.
However, Google is yet to respond to many of CCI’s questions. The issues for which Google is under question include pre-installed apps in Android smartphones,
users not having the option of a search engine or web browser, not being able to uninstall preloaded Google apps,
and developers and customers on the Play Store. Issues like not having a third-party billing app are included.
Google’s ‘walled garden approach’
Google’s market dominance of Android (under the walled garden approach) is based on a complex cross-subsidy model. On the one hand,
Google creates a large user base by providing free services like a search engine and e-mail; on the other hand, it takes advantage of this broad user base for advertising revenue.
Even third-party apps cannot go against Google’s will. Thus, Google controls both parts of the advertising ecosystem—the broad base of users and third-party app developers. This is how Google creates a walled garden.
Google’s new app policy
Google may have agreed to make the necessary changes under CCI guidelines.
Still, it is a complex process for which Google will have to make many significant changes at its level in its Android ecosystem.
These changes will also be necessary for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and developers…
Change the default search engine
Now Android smartphone users will be allowed to choose the default search engine.
Users will get the option to select the default search engine through ‘Via a choice screen.’
According to the company, when an Indian user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet, they can select the default search engine under the choice screen.
However, if the existing users want to choose another search engine, whether this option will be there for them has yet to be confirmed.
Earlier, Google was fined $ 4.3 billion by the European Group (EU) for violating competition rules.
Afterward, Google had to provide an alternative system to the user according to EU rules.
From September 2021, Android consumers in Europe and the UK are getting the option of a Choice Screen.
Their users can now choose the default app or service for the web browser and search engine.
No compulsion for preloaded Google apps
Phone and tablet manufacturers and other Android device brands, i.e., OEMs, will not have the compulsion to install the complete set of Google apps, i.e., they will be able to license any Google app at will.
Companies are now forced to choose the full suite of Google services. However, for which of its apps Google will provide this facility has yet to be clarified.
Google enters into Mobile Application Distribution Agreements (MADA) with phone manufacturers.
However, due to the convenience of customization, phone manufacturers also get ready on Google’s terms.
Google Play billing system will change
Users will get other billing options in the coming months. Following Google’s decision, developers will have the flexibility to offer alternative billing systems alongside the Google Play billing system.
With this, users will also be able to use other means to purchase in-app digital content.
In 2021, Google in Korea gave Play Store developers the option to choose an alternative payment method.
Android will support apps from other sources
Google has said that Android will allow apps to be installed from other sources, even sideloading (installation through device storage), and will auto-update these apps.
Also, Google has assured to ensure the security of the users as well.
Currently, Google does not officially support third-party app stores other than the Play Store and Android’s Application Store.