Ryan Haines/Android Authority
- Google is making changes to Android in India following a decision from the Competition Commission of India.
- Changes will include things like allowing side apps and app stores, user choice billing, default search engine selection, and more.
- This change is likely to affect how Android works in other parts of the world.
After the Supreme Court of India upheld the antitrust order issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) last Thursday, Google has been ordered to change the way it manages android platform. The company has now revealed its plans to comply with the country’s laws and regulations, which could lead to major changes for Android in other parts of the world in the future.
Google today announced that it is making some major updates to Android and Google Play in India to follow the guidance set by CCI. Major upcoming changes to the ecosystem that Google has indicated include:
- OEMs can now license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.
- Users have the option to choose their default search engine through a selection screen that appears when setting up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
- Android compatibility requirements have changed to allow partners to create incompatible or forked variants.
- Developers could offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system to Google Play billing when purchasing in-app digital content starting next month.
- Changed the installation flow and the ability to auto-update Android for sideloaded apps and app stores.
- Google has expanded its online resources to provide more details about the services offered by Google Play and how and when Google Play service fees apply.
In addition to announcing these changes, the search giant also stated that it is working to appeal some aspects of CCI’s decisions. Some of these demands included refraining from agreements guaranteeing the exclusivity of its search services, mandatory pre-installation of its apps, and allowing third-party app stores to exist within its Play Store.
Although these changes only affect the Indian market, for now, it is not likely that these changes will have bigger impacts on Android in the future. It’s possible we’ll see some of these changes find their way to the rest of the world down the road, similar to how the European Union’s decision on USB-C on phones forces Apple to adopt the charging standard.