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First, Google's blog states "Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA)".

Android, the paper goes on to note, is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. The crux of the EC's decision earlier this year was its opinion that Google was taking advantage of its position as a dominant operating system to be unfriendly to companies making Android devices.

A 3D-printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration taken July 9, 2017.

But one outcome of the move, Google said, was that manufactures would face a new fee. This means the pre-installation and priority status of Android applications like Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, the Google Play Store, etc., will no longer be required.

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Today Google has outlined how it will respond to the European ruling, in addition to appealing against it.

"If, for example, Samsung wanted to do a really pure Samsung device based on a forked version of Android, with a Samsung browser, Samsung Maps and Bixby as the lead voice assistant - but without the parallel Google services - they could", said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.

These new licensing options will come into effect on October 29, 2018, for all new smartphones and tablets launched in the EEA. Google will continue to offer Search and Chrome to anyone, and is going to keep signing commercial agreements for preferential placement of the apps on phones - those are just separate deals from the rest of the apps now.

Google is to start charging Android manufacturers for the right to pre-install its mobile applications in Europe as it seeks to comply with an European Union antitrust ruling it is in the process of appealing. It's possible device makers will pass this cost along to phone buyers. They are unlikely to be cheap for any company that wants the suite of applications but not the Google Search App. Although it comes with Progressive Web Apps on Windows, an AV1 decoder, and much more, the most important change is the ability to disable the new sign-in method that arrived with Chrome 69 and cause severe backslash due to the privacy concerns it generated.


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