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Google will allow India’s Google Play Store to provide third-party billing services for apps and games

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Last year, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google for restricting third-party payment services and is investigating the company for other anti-competitive practices. After Google’s recent Supreme Court order to block CCI was rejected, the company had to change its agreements with phone makers and ease rules for users.

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IT House learned that from next month, India’s android Users will be able to use third-party billing services for apps and games. They can also choose a different default search engine during the setup process. These specific rules apply only to India, but other regions have similar rules in place.

As for smartphone makers, they will be allowed to authorize individual Google apps to be pre-installed on the devices they ship. Previously, manufacturers were forced to bundle entire Google Suite apps.

Google will continue to appeal the CCI’s decision, but for now it is working to implement the following changes:

  • OEMs will be able to license individual Google apps to pre-install on their devices.

  • Android users have always been able to customize their devices to their liking. Indian users can now choose their default search engine, and the display will appear soon when users set up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.

  • The Android Compatibility Requirements are being updated to introduce changes for partner builds of incompatible or forked variants.

  • Starting next month, user choice billing will apply to all apps and games. User Choice Billing allows developers to allow users to choose an alternative billing system as well as Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.

  • Android has always supported installing apps from a variety of sources, including through sideloading, which involves downloading an app directly from a developer’s website. Recent changes have been made to the Android installation process and auto-update feature for sideloaded apps and the App Store, while ensuring users are aware of potential security risks.

A few days ago, Google also agreed to allow third-party app stores to be listed on the Google Play Store, also under pressure from the CCI.

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