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opinion 3 min read 13 comments

No more mandatory Google apps: Android's new freedom has a price

Ha, the EU Commission has brought Internet giant Google to its knees and freed Android from its shackles! In the future, there will no longer be any pressure to install the official Google apps, each manufacturer can decide for itself;f whether it wants to pre-install the services or not. Finally free, then? Yes, but this freedom comes at a cost.

Google is giving in to the EU following its penalty and changing its business model - this news is almost a sensation, because the search engine giant has so far been quite ignorant of criticism, advice and even penalties in this respect. The requirement to pre-install its official apps for Android smartphones with Google support is no longer necessary. The manufacturers now have the choice of whether or not to install Google’s apps, some of which are extremely popular with users.

Does it make everything better at Android? We'll see about that. In any case, the Android landscape should become much more colorful and diverse, because many manufacturers will now be able to optimize their own Android systems even more to their own approach. Duplicate apps, which are often standard today, could become fewer and fewer.

But the truth is also that the fragmentation of Android, which Google has recently tackled with at least moderate success, will become wider again. Without Google apps, Asian manufacturers, in particular, will be cooking their own soup even more intensively and will attach even less importance to keeping their customers' software up to date with what Google makes.

AndroidPIT google play store 6916
Apps have long since made lots of money for the storekeeper. / © AndroidPIT

Google apps could soon cost money

In addition, Android devices could become a little more expensive in the future. It looks as if Google will charge a fee in if manufacturers want to continue offering the Google apps that previously had to be pre-installed. It is not yet clear how exactly the model will look here, but Google will for the first time charge money for the use of these services. Whether this spirit will ever disappear again, I strongly doubt. And that the manufacturers will pass on such additional costs to the customers does not require a crystal ball.

One thing is clear: For many Android users, Google apps have become indispensable. Maps, Gmail, calendars and the like are extremely prevalent and are very popular with countless Android users. For a manufacturer, if you don't offer these, you won't necessarily make your fans happy.

In my eyes, the consequences of this decision are at least not exclusively positive. Of course, less coercion is a fine thing and can promote creativity and diversity in the Android cosmos. But if this happens at the expense of the end users, either through rising prices or through less frequent updates, the bottom line is that nobody is helped - except Google, which is now getting money for an offer that has, in the past, always been free.

What do you think of the decision regarding the new Android freedom? Let us know in the comments below.

13 comments

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  • Might as well buy an iPhone


  • Well I wonder how this will affect the United Kingdom when we leave Europe 🙄


  • It ALWAYS hits the customer and only the customer. Econ 101.


  • Why is Google being required to remove their preinstalled apps but not Apple?


  • I am confused. Why did Google decide to charge? Didn't Google require these apps to be installed previously so people would get them. Now manufacturers might not add them because there is a charge to add them. Why wouldn't Google offer their apps for free and make money the same way they did when their apps were pre-installed on the device? Doesn't charging further encourage manufacturers to go their own way?


    • It was free when the apps were preinstalled and it guaranteed their apps would be used pretty much. You could always choose to not use them and that was fine but the EU decided to just not have them on there for no reason whatsoever and now Google will charge to make up for it is my guess


  • "Without Google apps [...] manufacturers [...] will attach even less importance to keeping their customers' software up to date with what Google makes."

    This sentence indicates profound ignorance on the distinction between OS and apps.


  • There's gonna be lot of Malware, Trust me.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    4 weeks ago Link to comment

    I just hope this does not lead to a closed OS like IOS, this could be a good thing, I disable most of Google's apps anyway. Maybe we will get lucky and return to the day where you could just buy an app. Then we might be able to enjoy them with out being blasted by ads and in app purchases.


    • I really hope so Mark, then at least we will have the choice what we want to use like you mentioned. But I get the idea we will get free 3rd party apps full of adverts. For example on the S5 the app samsung added from a 3rd party that you could use for a tv/radio remote (can't remember the name of the app), that app had adds like mad, even pop ups running in the background sometimes when I unlocked my phone these pop ups would appear from nowhere. I think we might see more of those apps in the future. As manufacturers/developers will use these 3rd party apps for adverts and to generate a income. I might be wrong.


  • Just my opinion but I guess this will just cause manufacturers to use 3rd party apps that won't be the same quality as the google apps that will just cause customers more head aches and be vulnerable as these 3rd party apps most likely won't receive propper updates like Google's apps. We will most likely see more bloatware as now manufacturers can go wild as there's no stopping them or restricting them.


    • Or give other software houses more visibility on their superior but anti-competitively hidden apps. The important thing is: now there is the possibility of others emerging.


  • storm 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Breaking the app store stranglehold could be good for consumers. Could also be a malware paradise.

    Yeah, I already sideload some things , but that 30% off the top for doing nothing was a terrible thing to consumers about the app store. look for that number to decrease.

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