www. O S N E W S .com
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
Google may have to make major changes to Android
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-07-10 22:12:33

The punishment from Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition chief, is expected to include a fine ranging into the billions of dollars, according to people familiar with her thinking, marking the second time in as many years that the region’s antitrust authorities have found that Google threatens corporate rivals and consumers.

At the heart of the E.U.'s looming decision are Google's policies that pressure smartphone and tablet manufacturers that use Google's Android operating system to pre-install the tech giant's own apps. In the E.U.'s eyes, device makers such as HTC and Samsung face an anti-competitive choice: Set Google Search as the default search service and offer Google's Chrome browser, or lose access to Android's popular app store. Lacking that portal, owners of Android smartphones or tablets can't easily download games or other apps - or services from Google’s competitors - offered by third-party developers.

Vestager has argued the arrangements ensure Google's continued dominance of the Internet ecosystem. As a result, her forthcoming ruling could prohibit Google from striking such app-installation deals with device makers, experts have said. Alternatively, the E.U. could force the company to give consumers an easier way to switch services, like search engines, on their phones or tablets.

If Google illegally pressured OEMs, then they ought to be punished. I'm not sure forcing changes to the default services and apps is the right way to go, though.

 Email a friend - Printer friendly - Related stories
.
Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-50
.
RE[4]: Familiar
By xylifyx on 2018-07-11 14:33:00
How about Nokia and https://sailfishos.org/
Permalink - Score: 3
.
HTC?
By Vistaus on 2018-07-11 16:09:20
But but... I thought HTC phones now ship with Alexa, so they are already violating Google's rules by not making Google Assistant the default, right? (if the above article is true and Google really enforces this)
Permalink - Score: 1
.
RE[2]: Google Apps
By Vistaus on 2018-07-11 16:10:26
They could make it so that only users are allowed to swap out parts, not OEM's.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[6]: Familiar
By Vistaus on 2018-07-11 16:17:03
But the problem is that you cannot remove system level APK's from phones and tablets that can't be rooted, i.e. current BlackBerry's, for example. So that means you're stuck with apps you don't want. By allowing the user to remove system apps, you can easily remove everything you don't want without root.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[3]: Idiot browser choice box in the EU
By Moochman on 2018-07-11 16:57:05
That's not what this judgment is arguing. They are arguing that it's not possible to preinstall the Play Store without also preinstalling all the other Google apps. It seems to me that's a perfectly reasonable thing for a manufacturer to want to do, and it's being prevented by licensing agreements - not engineering issues.

Edited 2018-07-11 16:58 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
.
RE[2]: Google Apps
By Moochman on 2018-07-11 17:04:10
I'm pretty sure it's already possible to disable the Samsung junkware without installing a whole new ROM.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
Comment by kurkosdr
By kurkosdr on 2018-07-11 17:11:23
The definition of anticompetitive behaviour is a company abusing their dominance in a certain area (say mobile OSes) to achieve dominance in another area (say online services).

Nerds can pretend that Play Services is not part of the Android OS, but it is.

Play Services are so deeply woven into any modern Android version that even stuff like location won't work for many third-party apps (say Citymapper), because any sufficiently advanced geolocation app relies on Google's online services for location.

I once ordered an HTC One Max from China which had the Play Services location provider replaced by a certain AutoNavi location provider, and literally nothing location-related worked. Same for payment APIs (though I don't use them).

Edited 2018-07-11 17:19 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[7]: Familiar
By jonsmirl on 2018-07-11 21:30:56
You can remove then via USB and adb with a rooted phone. Heck you can destroy the entire OS with that setup. I am assuming here that the EU coerces the vendors into allowing rooting.

This security is in place to keep hostile actors from tampering with your apps (which they will do if allowed to). You really do want this level of security to be there. This security is not directed at keeping you from messing with your phone, it is direct at keeping other people from messing with your phone without your knowledge.

It is certainly possible to build an app that would run on a PC and then allow you to choose - Google GMS, FireOS, Xiaomi, ES-OS - and then install whichever one you wanted.

You can even write that app today if you wanted to.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:32 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1
.
RE[3]: Familiar
By jonsmirl on 2018-07-11 21:35:22
I think that got twisted in the translation, I believe the intention was to say that you can't sell an Android fork and call it "Android".

Samsung is selling Tizen and Android right now.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:35 UTC
Permalink - Score: 0
.
RE[4]: Idiot browser choice box in the EU
By jonsmirl on 2018-07-11 21:42:28
Allowing Google GMS to be installed piecemeal is a slippery slope. There are competitors who will immediately replace the play store, search engine and advertising engine with their own versions. That effectively steals all of Google's revenues while sticking them with all of the engineering expense.

These competitors (like Microsoft) love to make a poster child out of that French location services company as an argument to allow piecemeal GMS replacement. But we all know that the instant the EU approves this Microsoft is going to payoff every EU phone vendor to move their phones over to Bing and Microsoft's ad engine.

Edited 2018-07-11 21:43 UTC
Permalink - Score: 0

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-50

There are 2 comment(s) below your current score threshold.

No new comments are allowed for stories older than 10 days.
This story is now archived.

.
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
WAP site - RSS feed
© OSNews LLC 1997-2007. All Rights Reserved.
The readers' comments are owned and a responsibility of whoever posted them.
Prefer the desktop version of OSNews?