Good morning, and here is your breaking news of the day. The Android edition of Google Chrome will soon support third party Doodles. Reading between the lines (literally!) this change has something to do with the recent Russian regulatory battle that Google lost.
The code change submitted today says this:
Add support for third-party doodles on the Android NTP
This adds a ‘doodle_url’ field to prepopulated_engines.json, and plumbs
it through to the LogoService. It also adds a command line flag
–third-party-doodle-url for testing, and a feature
AllowThirdPartyDoodles as a kill switch (enabled by default).
From the related bug:
This is a follow-up to issue 725435 : That one allowed non-Google DSEs to have a static logo on the NTP. This is about allowing them to implement the full “Doodle” API which also supports animated images, more flexible dynamic updates, and custom clickthrough URLs.
To do this, we will implement a new field “doodle_api_url” in prepopulated_engines.json, which allows each search engine to specify their own URL for the Doodle API. If that field is not populated, we will fall back to the “logo_url” introduced in issue 725435 . If that is also missing, there will be no logo on the URL.
The plan is to provide an API for other search engines to display their logo, or a doodle on the new tab page of Chrome. The code that we stumbled up on talks only about Chrome for Android as far as we can see.
Looks like this is an extension of a plan to display third party search engine logo on the new tab page.
If you are from Russia, and you change your search engine to Yandex from Google, your new tab page will show the Yandex logo, instead of Google logo. In the future, if Yandex wants, they can display doodles like Google!
I do not know if Google was required to do this as per the recent ruling from the Russian anti-monopoly agency. Now that Google asks users to pick their default search engine, they might have wanted to do it nice and clean!