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Here's how Android, Search, and Chrome will change for EU users this week

Users in the EU can even choose to unlink their various Google services from each other.
By

Published onMarch 5, 2024

Google Pixel 7 home screen in hand
TL;DR
  • Google has revealed how Android, Chrome, and Search will change for users in Europe.
  • This follows the EU’s Digital Markets Act coming into effect this week.
  • Android and Chrome users can expect new choice screens, while Search sees a ton of changes.

Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into effect this week, forcing big tech companies to change their platforms and services in the region. Now, Google has outlined changes that EU users should expect this week.

For one, Google says it’s bringing an additional user choice screen to new Android phones. These phones will now show a browser choice screen during device setup. This is in addition to the browser and search engine choice screens already present on Android devices in the EU when opening the Play Store.

Chrome on desktop and iOS will also gain search engine choice screens as part of Google’s compliance with the DMA.

Google Search and Play Store see changes too

Google says it’s also made over 20 changes to its search experience as part of the new regulations. This includes new aggregator units and refinement “chips.” The new aggregator units are meant to help users find results from third-party sites in areas such as flights, jobs, and products. Interestingly, Google Flights has been removed from the search results page, ostensibly in favor of the new aggregator unit (seen below).

Google Flight sites chip

Another major change is coming to the EU on March 6, as Google revealed that Play Store apps can now link to offers outside the app.

The search colossus also previously enabled alternative billing options in Play Store apps in the EU, allowing developers to offer their own billing system alongside Google’s billing system. Now, Google is bringing this alternative billing option to game developers. Game developers can also choose to offer their own billing system without having to implement Google’s system.

Finally, users in the EU can now visit the settings page of their Google accounts if they’d like to continue linking the various Google services they use. Disabling this option means Google can’t use your data from one service to personalize content and ads on other Google services. Google notes that you can choose to have all of its major services linked, none of them linked, or choose which services are linked.