Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

All the user-facing changes Google is making to Android, Search, and more in EU thanks to new rules

As Europe's Digital Markets Act comes into effect, here's how Google is changing things for end users.
By

Published onMarch 7, 2024

Android Statue Google Booth MWC 2024
TL;DR
  • Google is changing Search, Android, and other services in light of Europe’s newly implemented Digital Markets Act.
  • The DMA came into effect on March 6, and as a result, Google users have way more choices in Europe compared to the rest of the world.

Google has detailed its plans for complying with Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which came into effect on March 6. The policy is one that targets and holds accountable larg tech companies and their services — “gatekeepers,” — as it calls them. Everything you’ve been hearing about Apple allowing app sideloading on iPhones and iPads, interoperability of messaging services like Signal and WhatsApp, upfront choices for Android users, and more — all come under the purview of the Digital Markets Act.

Google has published a lengthy blog post detailing how it’ll change Android, Search, and its other services for users in order to comply with the DMA, which comes into force this week. Here are the key takeaways.

New Choice Screens

Google will now show new choice screens for setting up default browsers and search engines when EU users are setting up a new Android phone. The images above show what those choice screens will look like. Users will be required to choose one search provider from the choice screen during setup. The chosen search provider will be set in a home screen search box and established as the default search provider in Chrome (if installed). A search app of the selected provider will also be installed on the phone.

Similarly, users can choose a default browser, which will install the selected browser’s app and set it as the browser to be used when opening links from apps.

Changes to search results

Search results will show up very differently for EU users. Google is removing features like Google Flights in Search and replacing them with newer experiences. Users in European countries searching for queries such as “hotels near me” may also notice more visual and entity-focused results.

Should a DMA-like policy also be implemented in the US?

207 votes

“Google says that a lot of its searches will go. Let’s say you’re searching for a hotel. Since Google can’t set the preference anymore and do Google Hotels, Google Travel, or Google Shopping, this should go directly to a booking or another big hotel operator and will not go, unfortunately, directly to the small guy hotel who’s trying to get on top of the search results,” Bill Echikson, Senior Fellow at Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) said during a press briefing on March 6.

More user consents

Google says users in Europe can now visit settings in their Google Account and choose if they want to continue sharing data across Google services by linking them. Essentially, EU residents can opt out of sharing data across YouTube, Search, ad services, Google Play, Chrome, Google Shopping, and Google Maps.

Users might also see new consent banners asking whether they want to link their Google services. In addition, Google is making multiple upgrades to how it shows users ads in the EU, and as a result, users could say a lot more consent pop-ups for data that advertisers collect.


What are your thoughts on the DMA and the changes it’s forcing tech companies to make? Do you feel Google should offer similar choices in the US as well? Or are you happy with how the system works right now? Take our poll above and drop us a line in the comments section.

Got a tip? Talk to us! Email our staff at news@androidauthority.com. You can stay anonymous or get credit for the info, it's your choice.