Leak details how Google will drastically change Android in India

The company must adhere to new rules to continue bringing Android to the country

As the EU in front of her, India found Google’s practice of forcing manufacturers to bundle a certain set of default Google apps to be anti-competitive. Google needs to make big changes to the way it distributes Android in India, and while we already know all the rules that the company must respect, we still don’t know exactly how Google plans to implement them. That’s where prolific Google leaker Kuba Wojciechowski comes in, giving us a glimpse of the difference Android phones could soon feel in India.


According to the tipster, Google will no longer require manufacturers to include a certain set of Google apps on their devices. The only application required is the Play Store, safe for other pre-installed vital components such as Play Services, which are required for many APIs used by other applications, including the ability to send notifications and use location data. However, a manufacturer can always choose to add more Google apps to their devices, and Google will pay a bounty to manufacturers who choose to pre-install the same 11 internationally required apps and add them to the device screen. welcome.

To make these rules possible, Google is introducing a new Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) for India, called IMADA for short. Indian manufacturers are free to choose between these two, although there is a caveat. Only by opting for the MADA international agreement will they be able to sell and distribute identical phones with identical software outside India. IMADA rules join the growing set of regional MADAs, such as EMADA for the European Economic Area or TMADA for Turkey. There is also a special version of MADA for Russia and Belarus.

IMADA also gets rid of another requirement that is still in place in other MADAs. Manufacturers will no longer have to include the Google search widget, a Google folder with Google apps, the Play Store app, and a collection of specific Google apps in the bottom row of the home screen. If a manufacturer still chooses to include the Google search application, a screen should appear during setup that allows the user to choose their preferred search engine themselves. This requirement also exists in the European version of MADA.

Overall, this will give manufacturers a lot more freedom over which apps to preload their phones with, without preventing users from getting their favorite Google apps later. It remains to be seen whether manufacturers will benefit from this. The bounty offered by Google will likely be tempting to many, and since IMADA makes it more difficult to sell and distribute identical devices to other parts of the world, many manufacturers might prefer to stick with the international MADA which allows them to sell their products in different countries. without having to create different versions of software.

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