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Galaxy S3 ‘dumb search’ feature confirmed by Sprint, it’s Samsung’s doing

July 12, 2012

The Sprint Galaxy S3 has recently received its second security update which came with an unexpected “Easter Egg”, the removal of local search capabilities from the search app.

As some of you may already know, the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit is one of the most important ones in the mobile business, with the two companies suing and countersuing each other in over 30 distinct patent-based lawsuits in 10 countries across four continents. Apple scored more victories than Samsung so far, with the most recent ones obtained in a very important legal battle for both companies, the U.S. Apple vs Samsung trial that’s set to start on July 30.

Apple obtained two sales bans a few weeks ago against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Nexus tablet thanks, in part, to its “unified search” patent. The technology allows mobile device users to use the same search app to locate stuff on the phone but also get web results for different queries. In response to that Galaxy Nexus injunction, Google joined the fight against Apple, and the result was almost immediately felt. The Galaxy Nexus injunction has been lifted for now – the second appeal was won after the first one failed – but with a cost. The two companies had to remove local search results from the handset’s search app.

The same thing – dumbing down the search feature to show only web results – is happening to the Sprint Galaxy S3, in what can only be perceived as a preemptive strike from Samsung. In fact, it looks like Sprint has already confirmed that unified search is not available on the smartphone anymore, and that it’s all Samsung’s doing:

“The new software update does disable the universal search function on Galaxy S III,” said a Sprint spokesperson to Phone Scoop via email. […]
Sprint said Samsung, not Sprint, was responsible for removing universal search from the Galaxy S III.

Have you updated your Sprint Galaxy S3 yet?