Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III Loses Local Search
Prior to today's update, the pre-loaded Google Search app on the Galaxy S III would also search files on the phone - like contacts and apps - when users conducted a Web search. But as Android Central first noted, a recent update stripped that functionality from the phone.
A Samsung spokesman confirmed that the update affects Galaxy S III devices in the U.S.
"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," he said.
Android Central said the update is also rolling out to the unlocked international model, but Samsung could not confirm that.
The over-the-air update is being pushed out as a "stability update." A T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S III checked by PCMag around noon Eastern had not yet received the update; local search was still intact.
The same feature was removed from the Galaxy Nexus recently after a California judge found that the device infringed on an Apple patent for unified search. Initially, the Galaxy Nexus was banned in the U.S., but an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with local search removed, rectified the problem, Samsung said.
Apple has already gone after the Galaxy S III for patent infringement, but a recent bid to stop the U.S. launch of the smartphone was thwarted thanks to scheduling issues. Apple will still pursue its patent fight against the Galaxy S III but on a less-expedited basis than it might have wanted. Samsung apparently hopes removing unified search from the Galaxy S III will help keep it on store shelves in the U.S.