Google releases Chrome 70, letting you install PWAs on Windows 10

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Google also restricted the use of incompatible Android forks by companies with Android licenses.

The European Commission (EC) in July issued a €4.3 billion fine to Google after it found the tech giant abused the dominant position of its Android platform to force manufacturers to install its apps on devices.

Google is dropping restrictions it imposed on Android-device-makers, following a clash with the EU. Previously, Google wouldn't license out its apps to companies who made phones that wouldn't ship Google apps, but it has now relaxed this requirement. Both have said they were prevented from signing distribution deals with smartphone vendors in recent years because of Google's restrictions. If you produced any Android device without Google's apps, you got booted from the Google ecosystem.

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Google's competitors in the search and browser market will hope to benefit from the changes - if they are permanent - while mobile operators will welcome any move to curb the power of online platforms. The company argued that giving away its open-source operating system resulted in cheaper phones and more competition with chief rival Apple. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours. They are unlikely to be cheap for any company that wants the suite of applications but not the Google Search App. Google Play Store brings million of apps and customization to Android.

In order to give OEMs a break, Google says it will offer "new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome".

"If, for example, Samsung wanted to do a really pure Samsung device based on a forked version of Android, with a Samsung browser, Samsung Maps and Bixby as the lead voice assistant - but without the parallel Google services - they could", said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.

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The company plans to charge a fee to all Android phone makers that want to include free versions of its Google apps with the default versions of the Android OS they are shipping in European Union states.

Some device makers had complained to regulators in Europe that Google's terms effectively boxed them out from producing successful devices that don't rely heavily on Google applications.

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