Google tough: this is how the Android developer defends his greatest asset

Google tough: this is how the Android developer defends his greatest asset

The Play Store is the first and often the only port of call for downloading apps on Android smartphones. This trump card can cost Google a lot of money, as new court documents show. Smartphone users suffer because they have less choice.

Android is free and open-source, but Google regulates access to the all-important Google services, including the Play Store, in its own way. Anyone who thinks that the US company can pay for it is wrong - on the contrary. Sometimes Google even pays the manufacturers of Android smartphones.

Preferential rights in the Play Store: Google pays Android manufacturers

As court documents now show, Google pays Android manufacturers a kind of "bribe" if they deliver their devices exclusively with the Google Play Store and forego the integration of alternative app stores (source: Golem). This so-called "Premier Device Program", as Google calls it, has been running since 2019. In addition to excluding alternative app stores, this program also stipulates that no other app may be authorized to install apps on the relevant devices.

This should mean the default setting in the delivery state, in the settings users can also allow downloads from alternative sources (such as the browser).

If manufacturers adhere to this, they will receive a higher share of the Google search revenue that is generated from the device. That then increases from 8 to 12 percent. Manufacturers are also said to have received income from the Play Store purchases, for example between 3 and 6 percent from LG or Motorola.

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Smartphone users are the messed up

Such methods are used by Google to ensure the supremacy of the Play Store on Android smartphones. Most major manufacturers are said to have participated in the program by May 2020. A prominent exception is Samsung, which has also been preinstalling its Galaxy Store on its own devices for a long time.

In addition to providers of alternative app stores, who have little chance of dissemination , smartphone users are the smacked ones. Thanks to Google's practice, you have significantly less choice in app stores.

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