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Google announces updates to Android and Google Play in India: Here are the changes

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Google has announced that it is making changes to its platforms in India, including allowing equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices. The move comes days after the country’s apex court Supreme Court upheld stringent antitrust directives, forcing the US company to change how it markets its popular mobile operating system, Android. Google announced the same in a blog post.
“We take our commitment to comply with local laws and regulations in India seriously. The Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s recent directives for Android and Play require us to make significant changes for India, and today we’ve informed the CCI of how we will be complying with their directives,” the company said
“…we are making some changes as required by the CCI’s directives. Implementation of these changes across the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work at our end and, in many cases, significant efforts from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers.”

Here are some key changes that Google plans to make to its platforms and business in India:
* OEMs will be able to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.
* Android users have always been able to customize their devices to suit their preferences. Indian users will now have the option to choose their default search engine via a choice screen that will soon start to appear when a user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
* We’re updating the Android compatibility requirements to introduce changes for partners to build non-compatible or forked variants.
* User choice billing will be available to all apps and games starting next month. Through user choice billing, developers can offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.
* Android has always supported the installation of apps from a variety of sources, including via sideloading, which involves app downloads directly from a developer’s website. We recently made changes to the Android installation flow and auto-updating capability for sideloaded apps and app stores while ensuring users understand the potential security risks.
Google further said that it is expanding its online resources such as Help Center articles and FAQs to provide more detail on services provided by Google Play and how and when Google Play’s service fee applies.
Will appeal
The company at the same time added that it will appeal the CCI decision. “We continue to respectfully appeal certain aspects of the CCI’s decisions and will champion our core principles of openness, expanding user choice, providing transparency and maintaining safety and security that have served the interests of the larger ecosystem,” the company said.

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