Chrome 70 Arrives, Brings Chrome OS-Like Apps to Windows

Google to charge for apps on Android phones in Europe

Google also restricted the use of incompatible Android forks by companies with Android licenses.

Google just announced it has filed an appeal with the European Commission (EC) following a $5 billion fine from July related to its licensing terms for Android and Google apps.

The EU's main problem with Google isn't about Android specifically, but with the company's dominance of search traffic.

While Google may be shooting for the native experience, there is no getting away from the fact that its implementation remains a Chrome browser window shorn of fripperies such as tabs and toolbars.

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Google is appealing the ruling but said it is complying in the meantime with the new licensing scheme for devices launched after October 29 in the European Economic Area, which comprises the 28 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. If Google is charging OEMs to use its services, Google can't be accused of monopolizing Android.

The EU's Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has previously suggested that Google's restrictions prevented "forked" versions of Android, including Amazon's Fire OS, from having more impact.

"Android will remain free and open-source".

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Third, we will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.

"We'll be working closely with our Android partners in the coming weeks and months to transition to the new agreements", wrote Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's senior vice president of platforms, in a blog post. In exchange, the hardware companies no longer have to install Google search and the Google Chrome browser, though they can do so for free if they want to. I'm sure some OEMs would want to test the waters of forked Android and launch a device or two without the Google apps, but the anti-fragmentation clause would mean they would immediately be booted from the ecosystem. More than 80 percent of all smartphones run Android, as do more than 24,000 different kinds of devices.

European Union antitrust enforcers in their July decision said Google's anti-competitive behaviour, which dated to 2011, included forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices.

Google is revamping its requirements for pre-installed Google services on Android to comply with new regulations. It's possible device makers will pass this cost along to phone buyers.

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