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Google to cut off its airfare feed for travel websites

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Google to cut off its airfare feed for travel websites

San Francisco, November 2, 2017: In an apparent move to take on major travel services providers like Expedia and Orbitz, Google has announced that it will be cutting off developer access to a feed that automates data for airfare search engines.

The move could potentially put third-party travel sites in a spot.

 “The QPX Express API service will end on April 10, 2018,” Google said in a notice on the FAQ page of its site for software developers.

The search giant also added that it would be ending new user registrations for the flight service.

QPX Express is a simplified airfare search API that offers basic shopping capabilities. It allows easy access to air travel search via a single, standardised API.

“If you are actively using the QPX Express API service, you may want to find an alternate solution before April 11, 2018,” the Google notice said.

Google is not providing any information on alternative API services, but some possibilities that software engineers could use include Fareportal, Skyscanner, and Skypicker, The Verge reported on Wednesday.

Google is also building out its own consumer-facing Flights service, adding cost-saving features, such as flying on a different day, landing in a different airport, or checking to see how airfares vary over time on a graph, the report added.

How Google’s decision to shutdown its API service will specifically affect third-party travel sites is not fully clear.

According to technology news website TechCrunch, customers of QPX include a lot of household names like Bing Travel, Cape Air, CheapTickets, Kayak.com, Orbitz, Alitalia, American, ANA, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.

Google’s move to cut off third-party access could require these services to build their own databases by going directly to the airlines.(IANS)

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Google Will Start Giving EU Smartphone Users a Choice of Browsers and Search Apps on Android

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google said Thursday it will start giving European Union smartphone users a choice of browsers and search apps on its Android operating system, in changes designed to comply with an EU antitrust ruling.

Following an Android update, users will be shown two new screens giving them the new options, Google product management director Paul Gennai said in a blog post.

The EU’s executive Commission slapped the Silicon Valley giant with a record 4.34 billion euro (then $5 billion) antitrust fine in July after finding that it abused the dominance of Android by forcing handset and tablet makers to install Google apps, reducing consumer choice.

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Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Pixabay

The commission had ordered Google to come up with a remedy or face further fines. The company, which is appealing the ruling, said the changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks to both new and existing Android phones in Europe.

ALSO READ: Measles Spread in Google’s Headquarters, Employees Discussing Ways To Protect Themselves

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Apps will be included based on their popularity and shown in random order. Users who choose a search app will also be asked if they want to change the default search engine in the phone’s Chrome browser.

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple’s iOS. (VOA)