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Daily Authority: 📱 Big changes coming for Android in India

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

☕ Hi there! Our country’s rolling blackouts somehow skipped us for the most part, until last week. Ah, it was good to have a reliable electricity supply while it lasted. Anyway, we’re covering Android’s big changes in India, cartoons as 80s sitcoms, and more.

Google announces Android changes for India

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

All the major changes

  • For starters, smartphone brands are now able to license individual Google apps to be pre-installed on their devices.
  • The company had previously required OEMs to license a bundle of apps at the very least.
  • Users can now choose their default search engine when setting up their new phone or tablet (as opposed to using Google by default).
  • Android makers are finally allowed to build their own forked or “non-compatible” versions of Android.
  • Developers can offer alternative billing solutions for in-app purchases, starting in February.
  • The company has changed the installation process and auto-updating capabilities for sideloaded apps and app stores too.
  • Hopefully, this means sideloaded apps are just as easy to update as Play Store apps.
  • Google is also offering more info regarding Google Play’s service fees.

Experiencing deja vu? You’re not alone

  • These are some hefty changes, but it’s worth noting that some of these already apply to Europe.
  • For example, consumers in the EU can choose their default search engine and browser on setup.
  • OEMs are indeed allowed to offer forked or non-compatible versions of Android in the region too.
  • App developers can also offer alternative billing methods in Europe.
  • These changes for Europe came after the European Commission found Google guilty of antitrust violations too.
  • South Korea also passed new laws allowing for alternative billing options in 2021, while also fining Google for barring Android forks.
  • In other words, this announcement for India is just the latest round of Google making government-enforced changes.
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What does this mean for other markets?

  • Should we expect Google to bring these changes to other countries?
  • Well, we have seen Google offer alternative billing in countries like Australia and Japan, for one.
  • These countries were investigating Google in some capacity, though. And this is just one measure.
  • The Indian ruling suggests Google had no intention of proactively introducing a raft of changes to other markets.
  • The fact that Google is only taking all these steps after the Indian ruling was upheld suggests it’s happy to maintain the status quo unless forced to comply.
  • So don’t be surprised if other countries are forced to take the antitrust route to get Google to play ball.

Thursday Thing

It seems like we’re seeing new or expanded uses for AI image and text generators every day. Now, YouTubers have indeed found another use for them.

They generally all use the same format, and the limitations of AI generation right now mean that we’ve only got still photos to work with. But it’s still a pretty entertaining use case anyway.

Have a great day!
Hadlee Simons, Editor

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