Android users in Europe will soon be asked to select the default search engine for their phones. However, your preferred non-Google option may not be available.
The new option is currently in the testing phase and is expected to be introduced across the EU in 2020. Once it's available, a pop-up window will appear on your Home screen prompting you to select your preferred search provider from a drop-down list. According to the screenshots published by XDA Developers, there are four options available.
In the pictures, these are Qwant (a Paris-based search engine with its own indexing engine), Esocia (a German nonprofit organization that finances afforestation projects), Google and Yahoo, but that's just an illustration.
Actual values vary across EU countries. Search providers must submit an offer for inclusion in the list. The three highest bidders and Google itself are listed in random order in the list. Unfortunately, this could lead to smaller organizations being omitted and only to search providers who are already well-established gaining additional visibility.
If you do not have the appropriate app for your chosen search provider, it will automatically be downloaded for you. You can also select another default Chrome search engine (if you use it) without browsing the browser's settings.
Why the change?
Last year, the European Commission ruled that Google imposed "illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to consolidate their dominant position in general Internet search" and imposed a fine of $ 5 billion (approximately £ 4 billion) / 7.5 billion AU $).
Google has made several changes to appease the courts, including the possibility for phone manufacturers in the European Economic Area to build forked Android phones and provide the upcoming additional search options.
If you can not wait until 2020 or do not live in the EU, you can continue to change the default search provider on your phone as directed by Google.
The price written on this page is true as the time it is written. It may change at any moment.