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What a day to be alive! In a move that somewhat mirrors Microsoft’s recent decision to let users change the chat provider for its Copilot tool, Google is reportedly planning to allow Pixel phone owners to choose their default search engine. This feature was discovered hidden in the Pixel Launcher app build included in Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3.
Once available, users can access a new “Search Engine” option within Pixel Launcher’s settings to choose their preferred search app for web searches. This is a significant change from the current situation, where Pixel phones are exclusively tied to Google Search.
As seen on Twitter
The move is likely to be welcomed by Android users who have long called for more choice regarding search engines. It could also majorly impact the search engine market, as users will no longer be limited to Google when searching the web from their Pixel phones.
It is unclear when this feature will be rolled out to all Pixel users. However, the fact that it is already being tested in beta suggests that it could be released in a future stable Android 14 update.
It is too early to determine this new feature’s impact on the search engine market. Nevertheless, it has the potential to disrupt the current status quo. Google has been the leading search engine on Android (everywhere, to be honest) for a long time. Still, with users now being able to choose, other search engines may be able to establish themselves in the market.
What do you think, will it be another Pixel-exclusive feature like Pixie? And can we attribute the changes in how companies like Google and Microsoft function to the EU?