Europeans will know the pain of roaming charges. Head to another country on holiday or business and try and check email, or text the boss/wife/husband/partner/colleague/friend (delete as applicable) and you'll be hit with fees. However, in a good piece of news, the European Union, the legislative body that governs most of Europe, is set to abolish roaming charges by summer 2017. Fantastic! Read More
The new OnePlus 3T is a respectable if not earth-shattering update to the alternative flagship - see Ryan Whitwam's review for the full breakdown of the new phone and how it compares with the original OP3. It went on sale in the US last week, but now buyers in Europe also have a chance to get their hands on one. It's straight sales all the way - none of the ticket systems that OnePlus used to indulge in. Read More
It's no secret that Android is heavily integrated with Google search. Google Now (soon to be Google Assistant) is the primary voice assistant, and Google search is included on every device with the Google Play Store. According to Reuters, Google also pays device manufacturers to keep Google as the only search application on Android devices, and the European Union isn't thrilled.
EU antitrust regulators are ordering Google's parent company, Alphabet, to cease providing incentives to keep Google search installed exclusively on Android devices. A 150+ page EU document outlines the issue, stating that Google "cannot punish or threaten" manufacturers for not complying with its conditions. Read More
Today, the EU filed antitrust charges against Google related to the Android mobile operating system. The internet is absolutely alight - both for and against the allegations the European Commission has levied at our favorite search company that also makes our favorite mobile operating system. The key complaints boil down to three core ideas.
- Google requires manufacturers to bundle Google Chrome and Google Search, and set Google as the default search provider on their devices if they are GMS (Google Mobile Services) partners. This, allegedly, reduces competition for apps that perform similar or identical functions.
- Google does not allow manufacturers to both be GMS partners and produce incompatible "forks" of Android on other, non-GMS devices.
The Nexus 6P has been in and out of stock in the US, but in most of the rest of the world, it's never been in stock at all — until now, that is.
We've received a few tips from our readers that the Nexus 6P is now being sold in the Google Store in several countries across Europe, and possibly even beyond that. So far, we're aware of availability in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal, but the same should be true for all the countries with the Euro as the official currency. Read More
Living in Europe and being able to easily buy a Nexus device have traditionally been mutually exclusive. With the possible exception of a couple of countries, getting your hands on a Nexus in Europe usually meant having to jump through a million hoops and deal with a very limited availability. Compounded with the fact that basically every other Nexus launch to date has been a fiasco in one way or another, you could count yourself lucky if you managed to grab one in time for Christmas.
Fortunately, Nexus manufacturers and Google have learned from their mistakes, and things have improved greatly compared to previous years. As a whole, preorders in the US went swimmingly, and today — barely a month after the US launch — the Nexus 5X is available to order in Europe. Read More
As had been previously reported, the European Parliament has now taken a vote on and passed a non-binding resolution that, if it should become a regulatory act of the European Commission, would seek to have Google's Search product broken up into a separate company. The motivation behind the resolution, according to the European Parliament's statement, is in "ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market."
What's a digital single market? It is essentially the EU's attempt to regulate how businesses and governments alike should behave on the web, particularly in regards to competition, net neutrality, and privacy. The notion is that, if EU governments agree to regulate the internet in a completely uniform fashion as defined by the EU Commission, fewer economic, regulatory, and competitive roadblocks will exist for startups to flourish, no matter what EU state they're from. Read More
Update: After we reached out to a Google representative, the company gave us the following statement:
We’ve been working closely with the European Commission and consumer protection agencies for the last few months to make improvements to Google Play that will be good for our users and provide better protections for children.
The representative was unable to comment on potential changes for the Play Store in the US or other non-European locations.
Consumer unrest over the prevalence of in-app purchases in free-to-play games has grown as of late, and nowhere is it more apparent than in Europe. The European Commission, the EU's legislative arm, has issued instructions to both Google and Apple to more accurately market the erstwhile "free" games. Read More
If you're traveling between countries in the European Union, there's good news for your wallet: it won't be quite so thoroughly mugged by international roaming charges starting today. After a vote by the European Commission last month, wireless roaming charges for text, data, and voice usage are being forcibly reduced across its 28 member states. Today's policy change will lower maximum roaming charges to 45 European cents per megabyte, 24 cents per outgoing call minute, 7 cents per received call minute, and 8 cents for a text message, plus value-added tax in all cases. Data gets the most dramatic reduction, with an average savings of 36% over last year. Read More