Google is set to introduce significant updates to its policy related to Android handsets in India and the search behemoth is updating and changing to comply with new instructions from the Competition Commission of India. The watchdog (CCI) works to keep the Indian business hub competitive in a healthy way.
According to reports, Google will make several modifications to how its Android mobile operating system (OS) and Google Play store functions in India. The new regulatory adjustments made by the CCI will greatly relieve the burden on Android app developers and provide users with more choices. In addition, according to a press release from the company, Google has certified its adherence to the regulations and standards of India’s legal infrastructure.
Why is Google making changes in its policy?
CCI fined Google $162 million in October last year for abusing its dominant position in several markets within the Android mobile device ecosystem. Additionally, the CCI imposed several requirements on Google. Requiring it to permit users to select their search engine and uninstalling Google-owned applications that are preinstalled on Android phones, such as Google Maps. However, the team acknowledges that significant effort would be required to execute the new CCI directives successfully.
How will users be affected by new policy of Google?
With this new policy, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can purchase the licenses for specific Google-created applications. This is allows them to pre-install Google’s applications on their smartphones. As part of the Android license agreement, Google apps like YouTube, Gmail, and Meet have, up to this point, been preinstalled on smartphones.
A significant shift that might increase competition in the market for mobile operating systems is that smartphone makers will now have the possibility to create certified, forked versions of Android. This action opens the door for BharOS, a locally made mobile operating system created by a startup supported by the state-owned IIT-Madras, to coexist successfully with Android OS.
With the new “user-choice” payment option, Google will allow app developers to use any alternative billing system besides Google Play’s built-in one. Likewise, customers can access any source besides Google Play to obtain their favourite apps. The majority of these adjustments will likely go into effect soon.
Google has made it clear that it must work with other partners to make the improvements successfully. Android users in India will have the option to choose their search engine of preference. When setting up a new Android phone or tablet, several search engines will appear on the screen to choose from. Thanks to this feature, customers will be able to test out various search engines like Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, and so on.
Below we have summarized the changes that Indian users can experience:
- OEMs may obtain a license to preinstall specific Google apps on their devices.
- The ability to customize their cell phones to their preferences has always been available to Android users. Indian customers will soon have the option to choose their favourite search engine from a choice screen that appears when they turn on a brand-new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
- Google is altering the Android compatibility requirements to permit partners to develop incompatible or forked variants.
- All games & apps will enable user-choice billing starting the next month. By utilizing user-choice billing, developers can permit users to choose a different payment method in parallel to Google Play’s payment method whenever they purchase in-app digital content.
- Android has always permitted software installation from various sources, particularly sideloading, which means downloading apps directly from a developer’s website. The way that sideloaded programs and app stores update automatically on Android has recently changed by Google. It ensure that users have information of any possible security issues.
How did Google react?
Google declared it would keep challenging the Competition Commission of India’s rulings. However, it is moving forward with the adjustments to comply with the law. Only the company’s business methods in India have changed.
Google gives warning that following the CCI’s directives will result in increase of the cost of handsets in the second-largest smartphone market in the world. Also, allowing installation of unapproved apps pose risks to personal and governmental security.
Google’s Android has gathered over half a billion customers in India, making it a significant market. As per research firm Counterpoint, Android mobile OS powers over 97% of all Indian smartphones and it has invested billions in the nation and is currently working to contribute an additional $10 billion.
It is a no-brainer that India serves as a major market for Google. To successfully grow and be in business in this growing country, it must ensure they meet the customer’s demands and the High Authorities. It would be exciting to see what new policy of Google has in store for the Indian market in the future despite facing some heat in the past few months.