Last Updated: January 27, 2023, 17:24 IST
Google making big changes to its policies in India
Google has been battling antitrust cases in the country and has been heavily penalised for its practices. The company believes these changes can help its position.
Google has been making the headlines with hefty fines imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in recent months, alleging the company of abusing its position as a market leader with Android, and not allowing other companies to grow on the platform. Google has been legally battling these accusations in the country but it seems the company is ready to comply with the terms issued by the antitrust body.
Google shared the details of these supposed changes that will be made to its business policies in the country. We have already listed down those changes but what do they mean for consumers, those who use the Android phones in India, what can you expect from this decision? Here is a closer look at them:
No More Pre-Loaded Google Apps
Google has made it a habit of signing up with its handset partners and making them preload Google suite of apps like Chrome, Pay, Drive, Photos and more. The company will now stop doing that as per the terms given by Google, OEMs will have the choice to decide which of the Google apps it wants to preload on their device for the consumer.
Having limited choices of apps as an alternative to Chrome, Pay and Drive among others has worked in Google’s favour in India, but the ruling means other app developers might finally get the chance to catch your eye and allow it to be used on Android devices.
Chrome No Longer The Default Search Option
Google makes Chrome the default search option for Android users in India, but soon that will not be the only option for users. Android devices will give you a choice screen through which you can select which search engine is going to be your default option. The details are not clear for now, but it is likely that people will have the freedom to choose between Chrome, Bing or any other search option compatible on Android.
App Billing Done Outside Of Google Play Store
Google has restricted other app developers from offering their billing systems on Android, instead they were forced to pay via Play Store. The likes of Netflix, Epic Games and Spotify have shared their opinion on this practice and now they will have the flexibility to include their billing system in addition to having the Play Store billing system for Android users in India. Having this means users can pay for in-app purchases via the external billing system.
Sideloading Apps With Safety In Mind
Android’s open-source nature means you can sideload apps from different app stores by giving your phone the permission to download from unknown sources. Google has been critical of this method but now the company says it will comply with the needs of the users and alert them if they are actually downloading a malicious or a genuine app from other sources.
How is Google making this happen? The company has made changes to the Android installation flow and auto-updating capability for sideloaded apps which should give users better clarity about the nature of apps they are installing on their device.
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