GOOGLE WILL LET Android users choose their web browser and search engine starting today in a bid to placate the European Commission (EC).
Google was last month slapped with a record €4.34bn (£3.8bn) fine over its "anticompetitive" Android OS, with the EC at the time scolding the firm for giving itself an unfair advantage by pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android devices.
In a bid to appease the watchdog and dodge any further fines, Google has started rolling out a feature that will let users download rivals' browsers and search apps.
First announced last month, the tool will show up in Google Play after an upcoming update and will let users select from a choice of five different browsers and search engine options.
"Two screens will surface: one for search apps and another for browsers, each containing a total of five apps, including any that are already installed," explains Paul Gennai, Google's product management director in a blog post.
"Apps that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and shown in a random order."
Users will be able to tap and install as many apps as they want, adding that once downloaded, users will be shown an additional screen with instructions on how to set up the new app
"Where a user downloads a search app from the screen, we'll also ask them whether they want to change Chrome's default search engine the next time they open Chrome," Gennai adds.
Fairsearch, whose Android complaint triggered the EU investigation, isn't too impressed by Google's efforts.
"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 said in a statement to Reuters. µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked