Google gives European Android users a couple of screens that won't be seen in the states

Google gives European Android users a couple of screens that won't be seen in the states
Remember last year when the European Commission fined Google $5.04 billion? The company was found to have limited phone manufacturers' ability to use third-party software on Android devices. The EC didn't want Google to force these manufacturers into pre-installing Google Search and the Chrome browser on their phones. They also weren't thrilled with the payments Google made to manufacturers that promised to install just one search app on their phones. Can you guess which app that was?

To comply with the European Commission's ruling, Google announced today that it is giving Android users on the continent two new screens that won't be seen in the states. The first time the Google Play Store app is opened following an upcoming update, two screens will appear. One will show five browser apps, and the other will have five search apps. Some of these apps could already be installed on an Android user's phone. Google states that "Apps that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and shown in a random order." The screens are supposed to remind European Android users that they can have other search and browser apps loaded on their phones besides Google Search and Chrome.

The Android user in Europe will be allowed to tap and install as many apps from the two lists as he or she wants. If someone decides to load a second search or browser app, an additional screen will appear that will include instructions on how to set search and browser defaults, and how to add the new icons or widgets.

Both new and existing Android phones in Europe will see these two screens over the next two weeks as they are just rolling out now.



1. lyndon420

Posts: 6835; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Interesting. Now here's a question: if I was trying to download a competitor's search/browser app (that happens to appear in this list that Google is now forced to present to consumers), will the competition have to provide a similar list showing other alternative search/browser options??

2. mrochester

Posts: 1021; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Lol, no, of course not. Why would they?

3. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Reminds me of how Microsoft got in trouble with the EU ages ago with Windows 8/10 and their bundled browser. Their solution was pretty similar to Google here where they tell you about other browsers but recommended their own. And before the usual Apple hate arrives, the EU only rules on software installed on Oem devices and the forced requirements of the software company (In this case Google and Ms). They don't say anything on software and hardware made by the same company. The Pixels probably won't have this screen and the Surface lineup doesn't recommend other browsers either.

4. Fialho

Posts: 22; Member since: Sep 03, 2015

Since android belongs to Google, and is Google itself the company responsible to improve the OS why can't they have their own products in the OS without recommending alternatives? If a person wants a new browser ok. Just search for it. But why recommending competitors' services? Will the same thing apply to apps like Google photos, keyboard, gmail, etc?

5. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

That's ok on a pixel phone, a phone by Google. But they cannot force other oems like Samsung and Huawei to do so.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.