Google announced that it will update the default search engine choice screen on Android for users of new Android smartphones. European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom. As of September 2021, a list with up to 12 services randomly organized into two groups will be displayed.In addition, the criticized auction system that harmed smaller providers will no longer exist.
According to the official blog of Google, the renewed screen of choice of Android will show, first, the five most used search services in each country according to analysis firm StatCounter. While a popularity filter will be applied, they will be sorted randomly each time the options menu is opened. This section will also present a higher number than previously admitted providers, which were only four.
The seven remaining search services will be displayed below the most used in each country. These will be ordered randomly. Google indicates that if a certain region exceeds the seven search engines, the remaining ones will be shown randomly each time the user accesses the choice screen, that is, none of those who decided to participate should be left out.
Search engines will be able to appear on Android without paying Google
Example of the configuration screen that European Android users will see | Credit: Google
Google specifies that, to be chosen, providers must offer general rather than specific search results. In addition, they must have a free application in the Android Play Store. Consequently, when a user selects a service on the choice screen, the app will automatically download to your phone.
The Mountain View giant announced the screen of choice on devices for the first time in 2019, precisely after receiving a fine from the European Commission of more than 4,000 million euros for dominant position in internet search. However, at that time an auction system was applied to establish the search engines that would appear on Android phones.
“We have always believed in offering options to people and businesses and competing on the merits of our services. And we know that people choose Google because it is useful; not because there are no alternatives. That is why we will continue to invest in Google Search and Android to be the most useful products available. We appreciate the open dialogue with the European Commission on these areas. “
While the idea was that Android users had more options when choosing, the smaller search engines were at a clear disadvantage. It is that they could not participate in the auctions, due to the large sums of money required. Now, that this payment method will disappear, the participation conditions should be more fair.