Android 14 Beta Gives You the Search Engine Keys

In a recent update to the Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3 version, Google discreetly introduced a setting option that allows users to customize their default search engine. This move seems to be an effort to circumvent potential legal rulings accusing the company of monopolizing the market.

Google quietly incorporated a feature in the Android 14 test version that enables the customization of the default search engine, seemingly to prevent being legally identified as a market monopolist.

Following the introduction of this new setting, users will now have the flexibility to replace the default Google Search engine on devices like Pixel phones with alternative services such as Yahoo Search, Bing Search, or DuckDuckGo. A similar adjustment appears to have been made in the latest Chrome browser version, simplifying the process for users to understand how they can switch their default search engine.

Image: Nail_Sadykov

Historically, Google has allowed users to change the default search engine in the Chrome browser, but the process involved navigating through a series of complex settings. Many users were unaware of this possibility, leading to a default reliance on Google Search and, consequently, significant advertising revenue for Google.

Previously presented court documents and testimonies revealed that Google had agreements with companies like Samsung and Apple, which favored the market development of its search engine services. It was noted in court that when users search via Apple’s Safari browser with Google set as the default engine, Google would generate ad revenue, of which 36% was paid to Apple.

Google’s search engine services have attained a market usage share of 90-95%, a figure that has led to accusations of market monopolization. The recent software update adjustments might be an attempt to avoid legal determinations of violating anti-monopoly laws.