Google has finally rolled out its search and browser ballots for Android devices, allowing users to choose what services they would like to use to power their devices.
The ballot screen arrived with a Google Play update and prompts users with popular alternatives to both the Google Search engine and the Google Chrome browser.
“After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing model for the Google apps we build for use on Android phones, creating new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search. In doing so, we maintained the freedom for phone makers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app,” Google explained earlier this year, “Now we’ll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use.”
The effect of this new ballot on Google’s search monopoly is currently unknown. On the one hand, users now have more choice with regards to browsers instead of passively having to accept the default. On the other hand, most users actively choose to use Google Chrome and the Google Search engine. Until rival search engines and browsers simply get better, that’ll probably remain the case.