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Following a court ruling in its antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games, Google has released a statement outlining its commitment to increased app store choice and flexibility on the Android platform. While the company maintains its legal challenge against the verdict, the settlement with state attorneys general details several key Android and Google Play changes.
The settlement is centered around empowering both users and developers. This is achieved through simplified sideloading, user choice billing, pricing transparency, and app store competition.
Firstly, users will have an easier way to download apps directly from developers. The process will be simplified, and clearer security warnings will be provided. Developers will also be free to offer alternative billing methods for in-app purchases, allowing users more control over how they pay.
Additionally, developers can communicate their pricing options outside the app, enabling comparisons with rival stores and websites. Lastly, Android devices will continue to allow pre-loading of multiple app stores, and Android 14 will introduce features to improve the experience for third-party app stores further.
Google emphasizes increased alternatives while stressing its dedication to its platform and ongoing competition. In its statement, Google is committed to further developing Android and Google Play for developers and users globally.
Developers can engage freely with their customers on pricing and distribution options. Despite simplifying sideloading, Google underscores its commitment to user safety by maintaining appropriate security warnings.
Whether these changes will be enough to address concerns about app store monopolies and developer freedom remains to be seen.