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Google will add new search and browser choice screens for Android phones in Europe

android search choice screen

As we get closer to the March 6 date of compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), Google has just announced some of its plans to so its products and services will be legal under the new European rules.

In a blog post, Google stated that one big change for European consumers with Android phones will be two new choice screens that will appear when consumers initially set up their Android phones. One will let users quickly set up their preferred search engine for their phone. Google will also put in a similar screen for its Chrome browser app on its desktop and iOS versions. Search engines who want to be added to the new Android search choice screen can apply at Google's website.

android choice browser page

The other choice screen for Android phones in Europe will let users select their default web browser. Again, Google is letting companies submit their web browser that can be added to this choice screen on Google's website.

This is almost identical to what the EU required Microsoft to do over 10 years ago, when it forced the company to put in a "Browser Ballot Screen" in Windows 7 in 2009. Microsoft did away with that screen in 2014.

In addition, Google Search in Europe will be getting some changes as well, especially for shopping for products or trying to find a hotel. The company stated:

We will introduce dedicated units that include a group of links to comparison sites from across the web, and query shortcuts at the top of the search page to help people refine their search, including by focusing results just on comparison sites. For categories like hotels, we will also start testing a dedicated space for comparison sites and direct suppliers to show more detailed individual results including images, star ratings and more.

The company added that some Search features will be removed in Europe to comply with the DMA, including Google Flights. Google will also show users in Europe a new "consent banner to ask them whether some services can continue to share data for those purposes."

Microsoft has already announced changes to Windows to comply with the EU's DMA rules. They include the ability to install all apps on the OS, along with asking European users if they wish to sync up their Microsoft Account with Windows so their data can be access on other devices they use with such an account.

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