Google unshackles Android-device firms

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Google is giving device-makers some-more leisure over their use of a apps and services

Google is dropping restrictions it imposed on Android-device-makers, following a strife with a EU.

It is finale a anathema on manufacturers carrying a choice that includes tablets and phones powered by choice versions of a handling complement to a possess as good as ones that underline Google’s possess apps and Play Store.

It will also concede some of a services to be pre-installed though others.

But Google continues to interest opposite a associated €4.3bn (£3.8bn) fine.

The European Commission announced a chastisement in July, after statute that a US association had been regulating Android to illegally “cement a widespread position” in search.

Unbundled apps

Google announced a changes to a policies in a blog.

It pronounced a new chartering arrangements would come into outcome on 29 Oct and request to inclination shipped to a European Economic Area (EEA) – that includes Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein in further to a EU.

Until now, Google insisted that if handset- and tablet-makers pre-installed apps such as YouTube and Google Maps, they also had to pre-load a web browser Chrome and Search apps.

Chrome and Search will no longer be bundled in this way.

But one effect of a move, Google said, was that manufacturers would face a new fee.

“Since a pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with a other apps helped us account a growth and giveaway placement of Android, we will deliver a new paid chartering agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into a EEA,” wrote executive Hiroshi Lockheimer.

“Android will sojourn giveaway and open-source.”

It has not settled how most a new fees will be or either consumers should design a poignant arise to device prices as a consequence.

‘Free to experiment’

The EU’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has formerly suggested that Google’s restrictions prevented “forked” versions of Android, including Amazon’s Fire OS, from carrying some-more impact.

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Device-makers will be means to sell Android handsets though Chrome or Google Search being pre-installed

Until now, many manufacturers have focused instead on adding their possess “skins”, that involves creation user interface changes to Google’s batch chronicle of Android though not deeper alterations to a formula that competence means some services to turn incompatible.

One attention viewer pronounced he now approaching to see some-more experimentation.

“If, for example, Samsung wanted to do a unequivocally pristine Samsung device formed on a split chronicle of Android, with a Samsung browser, Samsung Maps and Bixby as a lead voice partner – though though a together Google services – they could,” pronounced Ben Wood, from a CCS Insight consultancy.

“The large plea for phone-makers is to try to replicate a success that Apple has had with monetising a inclination after they have been bought, that it has finished by offered services such as iCloud storage and Apple Music.

“That’s been harder to do for Android licensees as a lot of a income from their inclination has flowed to Google around things like Search and Maps.”