Galaxy S3 dumb search update feature confirmed by Samsung, it’s because of Apple

by: Chris SmithJuly 16, 2012
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Launched in late May, the Galaxy S3 is now available from all Big Four carriers in the U.S, with regional operators including U.S. Cellular and C Spire scheduled to get the handset soon. What’s particular for the American launch is that two of the Big Four mobile operators have already issued some important Galaxy S3 updates that, in addition to bringing some fixes and improvements, also happen to dumb down the Search feature of the phone.

The Verge got a statement from Samsung on the matter and it appears that it’s the company’s doing. Just as we suspected, the South Korean Android maker is taking preemptive measures against another potential Galaxy S3 injunction request from Apple, after the latter obtained two such preliminary verdicts in its patent-based U.S. lawsuit against Samsung:

Samsung has updated the software for the Galaxy S III as a precautionary measure to ensure that U.S. consumers may enjoy using our innovative products without interruption.

One of the two injunctions Apple obtained in the U.S., even though stayed on the second appeal, affected the Galaxy Nexus and was based on an Apple patent describing a “unified search” technology, which is currently used by various mobile devices. The Galaxy Nexus made use of that technology – the Google Search app displayed local results (stuff on the phone) and web results, when the user performed a search – and that’s one of the things that got it into temporary trouble.

Google partnered up with Samsung against Apple, and an updated Search app was developed, one that only shows web-based results – or the dumbed down Search version. The same limited feature is now found on AT&T’s and Sprint’s Galaxy S3 versions, and similar updates could come to all American Galaxy S3 units.

  • So to confirm, this is only on the US version of the S3?

    • phreezerburn

      Also very interested to see if this affects Canadian S3’s as well.

      • Pablo

        Even if it did canadian carriers are so slow at issuing the updates you won’t be affected for a while

  • ElelvlentaL

    Well, good thing we don’t have to take the OTA (assuming it is an OTA).

  • I have honestly never used spotlight on the iPhones I have had. In fact I jailbroke them and got rid of it with NoSpot. And on my GS3 I only use it to search the web since I know where everything on my phone is. I haven’t got this update yet on my AT&T version unless I have to manually do it.

  • I have an at&t GS3 and i just checked if the update was available but it’s not. good to know at&t takes forever to push updates that take away functionality as well as the good updates haha. now we know it either takes forever to push an update or they’re just REALLY lazy haha

  • Se-Jeong Lyu

    Wait this happened because of “Spotlight” from iPhone/iPad/iTouches? I always disabled them from searching at all on my iDevices, and once jailbroken i disabled it completely.

    I heard you can still universal search if you download one of a few group of apps.

  • Just got the update today with my T-Mobile device.

    This sucks…