The blogosphere recently swelled with speculation as to why Samsung removed Google’s universal search function from its premiere Galaxy SIII smartphone, but a new report today revealed the ousting was simply “inadvertent.”
AndroidCentral first revealed the problem:
- There’s a new over-the-air update rolling out for the international Samsung Galaxy S III (aka Galaxy S3 GT-i9300) this evening. The OTA message identifies it as a “stability update,” but what it also does is remove local (on-device) search functionality in the phone’s built-in Google Search app. The new version — XXBLG6 — is a relatively recent build, having been cooked just a few days ago on Jul. 20. A new baseband version, XXLG6, is also included, but we haven’t noticed any other changes thus far.
- Following legal action by Apple, which temporarily resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being banned in the U.S., Samsung has taken to pre-emptively disabling the ability to search within on-device data (like contacts and applications) on some U.S. Galaxy S3’s. However, the decision to kill local search on the unlocked international model — which isn’t sold in the U.S. — is a little perplexing, not least because Apple has yet to challenge Sammy over local search in the EU or UK, where the GT-i9300 is sold.
Samsung just confirmed to TechRadar, however, that the removal of search functionality on the U.K. version of the Galaxy S III had nothing to do with a legal action by Apple. The mysterious occurrence, which stopped the ability to search for files, contacts, and apps through the built-in Google Search widget, was apparently unintentional.
According to Samsung:
“The most recent software upgrade for the Galaxy S III in the UK included the inadvertent removal of the universal search function. Samsung will provide the correct software upgrade within the next few days.”
A new update will roll out over the next few days to fix the problem.