With Google now abiding by the Competition Commission of India’s October 2022 judgement, which penalised the corporation for abusing its dominating market position, Android is changing in India.
Google is getting ready to drastically change how Android works in India, even though it still plans to fight the ruling.What precisely are these modifications, and what effects will they have on users and smartphone makers (or original equipment manufacturers OEMs)? Look at this more closely.
The specific day that these modifications take effect is not stated in the blog article, but it is most likely going to happen shortly. Technically, the order from CCI started on January 19. Google had already appealed the CCI’s decision to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, but the NCLAT declined to maintain the status quo. It then filed a lawsuit against the NCLAT order with the Supreme Court. But instead of offering any relief, the top court instructed NCLAT to make a decision on the appeal by March 31. Additionally, Google was had to pay CCI 10% of the Rs 1337 crore fine.
The next Android phone won’t have a lot of Google apps pre-installed.
The majority of Android devices come pre-installed with a number of Google apps, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Chrome, GPay, Google Maps, etc. One of the requirements for Google’s Android licence, which is required for phone developers, is that they use Google’s app store. Now, this will alter. OEMs will be able to licence specific Google apps for pre-installation on their devices, according Google’s blog post on the subject. Therefore, an OEM won’t have to pre-install these apps anymore.
It should be noted, however, that regardless of price, the majority of Android phones come pre-installed with a number of apps, not all of which are produced by Google. Many of the other apps that are promoted by the manufacturer provide the customer nothing extra. These are frequently referred to as “bloatware,” and they’ll probably keep appearing on most phones.The CCI judgement also stated that OEMs may no longer be required to instal Google’s apps in order for Google to award them Play Store licences (including Google Play Services).
The default search engine will no longer be Google Search.
One of the biggest blows to Google’s market domination has perhaps come from this. Google Search is the default selection on the majority of Android phones. Usually found in a prominent location on the home screen, the Google Search bar. Instead of being restricted to using only Google, consumers in India will now have the choice to pick a different search engine as their default option as a result of the changes.
This new page will show up, per the blog post, “when a user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.” Google has not stated when this modification would begin to take effect or whether it will apply to phones that are currently on the market.
Google notes that it will revise the “Android compatibility standards” and permit partners to “create non-compatible or forked variants,” which is another significant shift. There are basically two different types of modifications. Because it abides by the company’s terms and regulations, one is compatible, based on the same Android Open Source Project, and also has access to Google’s Play Services.
The “non-compatible” devices are ineligible to use Play Services, such as the Google Play Store. These modifications and other variations allow for the sideloading of Google apps.
Remember that non-compatible modifications differ from the unique “skins” or operating systems (OS) found on the majority of Android smartphones. For instance, Samsung phones have OneUI, Xiaomi phones have MIUI, while Oppo and Realme devices have “ColorOS” on top of “stock” or unmodified Android. OEMs will continue to offer Google Play Services while also adding their own app store, functions, unique backgrounds, etc. to the device. However, a non-compliant “fork” is barred from the Play Services, a significant source of income for Google.
The developers will welcome this modification when it begins in the next month. The ability to “select an alternative charging system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content” will now be available to them. Developers won’t have to pay Google significant commissions for digital sales or in-app purchases (15 to 30%), which Google refers to as the “user choice charging scheme.”
This “commission” has caused a rift between developers and both Google and Apple. Remember that South Korean law has already compelled Google to permit this move. When developers in South Korea provide their own payment option, the commission rate drops from 15% to 11%. Although the precise sum for Indian developers has not been disclosed, Google has said that “a modest service fee will still be payable to other charging methods.”
How it will impact on Site loading?
Although it has always been allowed on Android, sideloading is a contentious topic. On iOS and iPadOS, it is prohibited. The “Android installation flow and auto-updating functionality for sideloaded apps and app shops” appear to be changes made by Google, nevertheless. These sideloaded apps will now be “easier” to instal, though it’s not clear how much easier. When users sideload Android apps, Google normally alerts them. Developers have frequently discussed how the Google system treats these apps like viruses and flashes warnings to users.
The majority of Indian phones currently have third-party app stores, and these stores will allow automatic app updates. The updates section is crucial since it will guarantee prompt patches for any potential security flaws.