Earlier this year, an anti-trust lawsuit in Russia led Google to make some changes with Chrome on Android. The settlement required Google to develop a search widget that uses any search engine, which shipped as part of Chrome 60. Chrome also now asks users in Russia to pick a search engine when first installed. In a related move, Google is adding support for custom search engine logos in Chrome for Android. Read More
Anyone who's been following technology news for long enough will remember Microsoft's infamous browser ballot screen in Europe, which was a result of antitrust action against the company for pushing Internet Explorer. Google is facing a lot of regulatory pressures in Russia right now, so it's doing something similar. When opening Chrome for Android in Russia, users are being asked to choose a default search engine. Read More
Russia began investigating Google for antitrust violations last year after the largest search engine in the country, Yandex, complained to authorities. It alleged that Google's promotion of its own services over alternatives (like Yandex) on Android was anti-competitive. Now, the Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has issued a $6.8 million fine against Google. Surely, this will bankrupt the company. Read More
Acting on a complaint by Russian search giant Yandex, Russia's antitrust authority has ruled that Google's policy forbidding the pre-installation of competing search providers on GMS-enabled devices is illegal in the country. Yandex, who dominates the huge Russian market on the desktop, has been hemorrhaging market share in mobile to Google. Their complaint is that Google cannot have a rule requiring Google be the default (and only) search engine on devices that ship with the Play Store.
Now, Google never prevents people from downloading a different search provider from the Play Store. From the perspective of Yandex, though, Google dominates the mobile market so much that this policy is an abuse of their power. Read More
Yandex is often called "the Google of Russia," for pretty obvious reasons: it owns and operates the largest search engine (by market share) in the country, and it has expanded into familiar markets like webmail, online video, mapping services, and even an app store. Still, Yandex has found that Google's hold on Android is basically unshakeable at this point, so the company has resolved to take advantage of Android's open source nature and provide superior alternatives to its customers. Ha, just kidding. They're sicking the Russian regulators on Google instead.
TechCrunch reports that Yandex has asked the Russian antitrust authority to investigate Google, specifically for setting its own search engine as the default on Android devices. Read More
You probably recognize the name Yandex by now. It's the Russian outfit that's been deploying alternatives to Google services in recent years, and has actually been doing a reasonably good job at it. After recently making the home screen replacement Yandex.Shell available to everyone, the company has set its sights on mobile browsers with Yandex.Browser.
This browser has all the basic features you'd expect in any modern app, but it does a few interesting things. There is a customizable visual shortcut manager called Tablo that lists your most visited sites. Also on-board in the first release is data compression to reduce bandwidth consumption. Read More
Yandex isn't a household name in most areas, but if you live in Russia, chances are pretty good that you've at least heard of the Google and Amazon competitor. A few months ago we brought you news of an updated version of Yandex's customized launcher and dialer combination, Yandex.Shell, at the time only available in Russia. Today it's free to download for everyone with a spiffy new English localization. New features for the update include the standard bugfixes and an experimental hardware acceleration mode.
If Yandex.Shell looks familiar, it should: it's made by some of the same talented developers who've been wowing mobile users for years with SPB Shell 3D and related products. Read More
So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page. Beneath that is a cache of apps 50,000 strong and growing.
The vast majority of apps on display are free, but there are paid options as well, with support for credit card and cell phone bill payments from dozens of countries including the United States. Read More
Earlier today, mobile software developer SPB Software announced on its website that it had been acquired by Russian search engine giant Yandex. TechCrunch reports that the price of the acquisition was a cool $38 million.
Yandex is Russia's largest internet company, operating the country's most popular and the world's seventh largest search engine. In contrast, SPB Software is a leading mobile software developer, that has, since 1999, been making applications for mobile phones that enable subscribers to do more with their handsets and network connections.
Amongst other forays into mobile development, SPB is known for their highly rated "next generation user interface" SPB Shell 3D, created for the Android platform. Read More