Google will start charging Android smartphone makers to use its apps

18 October, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Google to charge for apps on Android phones in Europe

Google's solution to the European Union order puts more distance between its mobile app store, through which millions of Android users may discover and install new apps, and the many sister apps that help sustain Google's deep relationships with customers.

Google published a blog post today explaining some important upcoming changes to the business model of Android when it comes to the European Economic Area (EEA). OEMs had to pick between making Google-powered devices or not - no double-dipping.

"If, for example, Samsung wanted to do a really pure Samsung device based on a forked version of Android, with a Samsung browser, Samsung Maps and Bixby as the lead voice assistant - but without the parallel Google services - they could", said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy. This made a smooth transition out of the Google ecosystem impossible-it was more like jumping off a cliff, and you had to hope you landed safely at the bottom. If Google is charging OEMs to use its services, Google can't be accused of monopolizing Android.

Google is also planning to offer new deals to OEMs to encourage them to install Chrome and Search. It said Google has used Android as a vehicle to increase its domination in the search domain.

We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome.

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Google is able to run advertisements inside applications pre-installed with the Android mobile operating system - something rivals are not permitted to do. Breaking up Google's licensing agreement is going to have a financial impact on OEMs. That's right, OEMs now have to pay to access the Google apps, but Google doesn't say how much.

Google doesn't generate revenue from Android by keeping it open-source and free.

With the release of Chrome 69, Google came under fire for a new "feature" that saw users automatically logged in to Chrome as soon as you hit a Google site, be it Google, YouTube or Maps.

What this will ultimately mean is that we will likely see device makers picking and choosing the apps that will be bundled with their devices, with users forced to download the remaining apps separately.

The hard part about forking Android isn't replicating the Play Store and getting an email client.

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