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Google plays fair, offers alternative search engine options to Android users in Europe

Complying with the European Commission’s decision on fair play in the Android ecosystem, Google has announced that starting next year Android users will have the power to choose the search engine for the search box on their device’s home screen.

Google has rolled out applications for search engines who want to be a part of the list of service providers that will appear on a user’s screen when they’re choosing the default search provider for their home screen search box. The same provider will also be the default search engine in Google Chrome, which can later be changed by the user.

The choice screen of search providers will appear for Android smartphone and tablet users in Europe when they’re setting up a new device. The option of search engines will differ based on the location of the user.

This change carries forward the Android update from earlier this year that saw Google Play Store in Europe showing alternative options to Google Search and Google Chrome that users can download. These options also differed based on the user’s location.

The application process for search providers has opened today as the feature is set to be rolled out in early 2020. More information about the criteria and steps to apply can be found here.

Also read: DuckDuckGo vs Google: Which search engine should you use?

Android users will be able to change their default search engine from 2020“As always, people can continue to customize and personalize their devices at any time after set up. This includes selecting which apps to download, changing how apps are arranged on the screen, and switching the default search provider in apps like Google Chrome,” Paul Gennai, Product Management Director at Google, wrote in a blog post.

On Thursday, Google announced an update to Android that’ll be rolled out in the coming months. introduces a new feature in Pixel and few other Android devices, which will allow users to share information like their location as well as the kind of help they require with just a tap on the Phone app. Read more about it here.

Also read: 9 new privacy and security features announced at Google I/O 2019

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