The Galaxy S3 has just started selling in the U.S. and it has already received a bunch of security updates – especially the Sprint version – that shouldn’t affect your general smartphone experience.

However, the most recent update that’s available as an over-the-air (OTA) download, also carries an unwanted fix. Apparently Samsung is afraid that Apple may continue to seek an injunction against this flagship handset in the U.S., and therefore the company decided to also update the search feature on the Sprint Galaxy S3.

We’re looking at a dumbed down search feature that lets users access only web results when looking for stuff on the device. Anything else that’s stored on the handset (contacts, applications, messages, etc) does not show up anymore. The same kind of update could soon be rolled out to other U.S. Galaxy S3 versions – and let’s not forget that the phone is going to be available from six carriers in the region including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and C Spire.

Why is Samsung already defending its Galaxy S3? The company has been dealt four defeats in the recent weeks in a patent-based lawsuit initiated by Apple: two sales bans in the U.S. against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus and two appeals losses in each instance. Samsung managed to overturn the Galaxy Nexus injunction in Federal Circuit court, but these decisions are not final – the court date for the lawsuit is now set for July 30.

As the Galaxy Nexus sales were stopped in the U.S., Google decided to step in and to deliver a workaround to that “unified search” patent used by Apple in this lawsuit. Consequently, the search feature on the Galaxy Nexus has been dumbed down to only reveal web-based results. Now, Samusng is doing the same thing with the Sprint Galaxy S3, and we may see the same “security update” roll out to other U.S. versions soon.

Sure, the original search function can be re-enabled on the device by installing the old GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk, as Phandroid points out, but that’s something you’ll have to do yourself.

As for Apple’s intentions to obtain an injunction against the Galaxy S3, they have been prevented so far, but who’s to say Apple will stop at that.

Have you noticed the new search changes on your Sprint Galaxy S3?

  • Why is Apple being so sour. They cant be a monopoly of smartphones. Apple will still be great and apple fanboys arent going anywhere.

  • Che Cook

    Thanks Apple. Can I patent the intake of normal air and by way of biological hemeglobin transfer remove oxygen……… so I can get an injunction that says you can’t do it?

  • Craig Carter

    Apples and oranges

  • So they have a patent for displaying search results from multiple sources?… Who’s D*** did they suck to get that? The whole patent system is getting ridiculous.

  • Liberal_Fairy

    This is retarded! I had this on my god damn windows phone YEARS AGO!

  • Seamus Conley

    Google and all the other OEM need to find a way around this, because is a feature off being using consistently for years. I don’t want to have to be stuck using an older apk that will never get updated. Seriously, I’ve never been a fan of apple, but I respected them enough that I would never hate on there products and services. This however is just making me furious though, I honestly hate them as a company now.

    • sunkneeg

      Seriously. Is Apple going to sue Microsoft for universal search within the Deskop os?

  • Eff Crapple and that cuntish Tim Cook!!!!!!!!

  • yarrellray

    Apple can suck eggs and so can all it’s users. Samsung has been wipping apple butt for years and that will always happen. Apple can’t innovate so all they are able to do is litigate. At this stage of the game WHO CARES they will never stop the operation of android and how it is designed to work. The overall joy of android allows everyone to have it’s device as they see fit that is something we as android lovers will never allow to change. So that apk will be something I will use on my device plain and simple. Meanwhile home on the range the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 makes the iphone totally useless in the real world of technology. And the funny part is the Galaxy Note 2 as well as the upcoming new Nexus is on the horizon so there is no way any iphone in the past or any new iphone will ever touch any of these devices. Software wise NOBODY BEATS SAMSUNG…..

  • firecar25

    What happens if do not install it, i have already purchased the gs3 weeks ago, does it not now become my sole property to do as i please? Can apple force me to update phone so i’m not infringing on their so called patent that they did not invent? I THINK NOT! Apple better quit before google decides to shove “worm” up in their “core” :-P

  • Alex

    Apple is just doing it because they are scared. The iPhone5 won’t be anywhere near what the s3 is. Its just going to “try to catch up to it”