Google Said to Allow Users in Europe to Change Default Search Engine

Google Pixel smartphone users in Europe have reported seeing an option to change the default search engine. The option has been said to appear within the settings of Pixel Launcher, the default launcher for all Pixel smartphones. It is said that the option to change the search engine was offered by the tech giant to comply with the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA) that recently came into effect. Notably, Apple also added support for alternative app marketplaces and allowed third-party browsers to run their browser engine to comply with the act.

The information was shared by tipster Mishaal Rahman on X (formerly known as Twitter). Based on screenshots shared by a Mastodon user, Rahman said, “One user tells me they received a notification from the Search Engine Selector app to choose their search engine. After changing the search provider, the search bar’s icon is updated to reflect the user’s choice of provider.” The notification was also confirmed by several other Europe-based Pixel phone users.

Clicking on the notification will reportedly take a user to a new setting option called Search Engine. To manually access it, users can go to Pixel Launcher’s Settings > *Home screen search settings > Search Engine*. Once a user enters the menu, a message states, “Select the app you’ll use to search the web. This will affect search and content on your home screen”.

Underneath the message, users will reportedly see all the search engines they have installed on their phones. Some of the popular search engines besides Google are Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and Perplexity AI.

Recently, Google posted a blog post where it detailed how it will be complying with the new regulations. The tech giant said it implemented more than 20 product changes in search results and added an option to choose whether users want to share their data across Google services or not. It also mentioned that it will soon add an “additional choice screen” to let users change the default search engine or browser. Based on the tipster’s information, it appears Google has begun rolling out this feature. However, it is yet to be expanded to non-Pixel Android phones.

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