EU Google Pixel Users Can Now Choose Default Search Engine

What you should know


  • Major tech companies like Google, Apple, and Meta are adjusting their ecosystem rules in the European Union in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), with Google allowing users to switch their default search engine through a new Pixel Launcher setting.
  • The new setting in Pixel Launcher displays a list of search engines, including DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, for users to choose from, and changes the search bar icon on the home screen based on the selected search engine.
  • Apple and Meta are also making changes in the EU, with Apple allowing the use of other app stores and default browsers, and Meta introducing paid subscriptions for an ad-free Facebook experience and planning cross-platform communications for WhatsApp.
  • The DMA targets major platforms designated as gatekeepers, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, TikTok by Bytedance, and Amazon, aiming to ensure fair competition and offer users more options by leveling the digital playing field.


Full Story

Oh, the digital world’s a-buzzin’! Major tech giants are really shaking things up, all thanks to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) over in the European Union. It’s kinda like they’ve been given a nudge, or more like a shove, to play nice in the sandbox.

Google, y’know, the big G, is stepping up first. They’re rolling out this nifty new Pixel Launcher setting for folks in the EU. It’s all about letting users pick their default search engine. Imagine that, a bit of freedom in your digital choices!

This juicy bit of news? It came from Mishaal Rahman, that app researcher wizard. He snagged some screenshots from a user, and boy, did it stir up some chatter. According to Rahman, there’s this “search engine” settings page popping up that’s all about letting you switch up your search provider right from the home screen. Talk about convenience!

One user even got a ping from the Search Engine Selector app. It was like, “Hey, wanna choose your search engine?” And just like that, they had options. DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and of course, the usual suspect, Google, were all on the list. Choose one, and bam, the search bar icon on your home screen changes. Neat, huh?

Switching it up is a breeze. Dive into the app settings, tap on “Home screen search settings,” hit “Search engine,” and pick your fighter. As of now, this little gem is only shining in Europe. No word yet if it’ll make its way elsewhere.

But wait, there’s more! Google’s not the only one playing the adaptation game. Apple’s jumped on the bandwagon too, with iOS 17.4 giving EU users the freedom to explore other app stores and pick their default browsers. And Meta? They’re tweaking away, introducing paid subscriptions to Facebook for an ad-free scroll. Plus, WhatsApp’s getting ready to let messages fly across different platforms in Europe.

The DMA’s goal? To level the playing field in the digital arena. It’s eyeing those big platform gatekeepers – Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, TikTok by Bytedance, and Amazon. The message is clear: play fair, or else. These tech behemoths need to stick to the new rules, ensuring fair competition and offering users more choices.

So, there you have it. The digital landscape in Europe is getting a makeover, and it’s all about giving power back to the users. A fairer, more open digital world? Sounds pretty good to me.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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