The excitement of buying a new phone is slightly diluted, because you kinda already know what you’re gonna get. And if it’s an Android you know it’ll have some kind of Android OS, a bunch of bloatware you won’t use, and a range of Google apps. Sometimes just Search and Gmail, but sometimes you get the whole shabang, from All and Analytics, to Street View and Translate.
That’s because for years Google has mandated the pre-installation of its core apps on Android devices – like Search, Chrome, Gmail and Play Store. Okay, fair enough. Google is Android and Android is Google, right?
Unfortunately, not right — for Google to comply with the European Union’s recent ruling against holding a monopoly in the industry, they have to start charging a licensing fee. At least, for the European market.
According to the EU’s ruling earlier this year, good ol’ Google isn’t allowed to use the Android platform to flood the market — that’s called having a monopoly. Google has to pay a fine of $5 million to atone for their sins.
As such, Google has made a few changes — now phone makers won’t need to apply to have Android on their devices (in the EU), and they are allowed to make copies of the OS without any prerequisites.
Google will need to sell a licensing package for an app bundle of Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube, and there will be a separate license for Google Search and Chrome.
These new licensing options will come into effect at the end of this month. We will likely see more companies experimenting with Google-free Android from here on out, which could prove either interesting or disastrous.
Source: Google Blog