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Your next Android phone will let you choose from these non-Google search engines

Phone with Google Search
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has announced which alternative search engines you'll be able to pick as the default on new Android phones. When they fire up their phone for the first time, users in the EU will be given a choice of non-Google options, which will vary depending on where they live.

As the BBC explains, from March new Android phones will offer a choice of four search providers (Google, plus three others). If an appropriate app for your chosen provider isn't already installed, it will be downloaded for you automatically once you've made your decision.

The 'winners' were determined in an auction, with places in the drop-down menu going to the highest bidders in each EU country.

DuckDuckGo will be the most frequently offered option, while Microsoft Bing will only appear as a choice for Android users in the UK. Choices available in other nations will include French search engine Qwant, Russian Yandex and German GMX.

Why the change?

In 2018, the European Commission ruled that Google "imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search", and fined the company $5 billion (about £4 billion/AU$7.5 billion).

Google has made various changes to appease the courts, including letting phone makers build forked Android handsets in the European Economic Area, and providing the forthcoming extra search options.

If you aren't planning to buy a new handset at the moment, can't wait until March or don't live in the EU, you can still change your Android phone's default search provider by following Google's instructions.