Google Adds Search and Browser Ballot Screens to Android in the EU

Install Chrome Extensions on Android 3

Install Chrome Extensions on Android 3

In a blog post, Googles Product Management Director, Paul Gennai revealed that you will see the new app recommendations screen when opening Google Play after updates. Google will display five alternative apps and alternatives will be selected based on their popularity and shown in a random order.

The company last month said it would let Android users choose their browser and search engine but did not provide details.

Deja Vu, anyone? Remember when Microsoft had to include a browser ballot screen in the company's Windows operating system for users from the European Union?

Users in Europe will now be presented with additional screens on their Android devices.

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Android users may install one or multiple of the offered apps with a tap on the install button. If an additional search app is installed, the user will also be prompted if they would want to change the default search engine within Chrome the next time they open Google's browser.

Google says these changes will roll out to new and existing Android handsets in Europe over the next few weeks. A link to the Settings is provided where that can be done. "We've been listening carefully to the feedback we're getting, both from the European Commission, and from others", Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker said at the time. The company was hit with a massive 4.34 billion Euro fine previous year for unfair advantages over competition on Android. The Alphabet Inc. unit said options will vary by market, but Microsoft Corp.'s Bing and Norway's Opera are notable competitors in the European search and browser market respectively.

"Fairsearch rejects as insufficient Google's launch today of a choice screen for Android because it does nothing to correct the central problem that Google apps will remain the default on all Android devices". It is unclear by how much, but if Opera's experience back in 2010 is anything to go by, it could very well triple downloads easily. The implementation is different from Microsoft's implementation nearly ten years ago as it is linked to the Play Store and not displayed on first run.

After receiving a hefty €4.3 billion fine from the European Commission over unfair practices, Google is issuing a fix by offering EU users alternative search and browser apps through Google Play.

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