Sprint Voices Concerns On Smartphone Injunctions – Admits To Disabling Galaxy S3’s Universal Search


Yesterday, we told you guys about a “security update” rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S3 on Sprint which featured the all new and unimproved Google Search app. The update, while fixing some issues with Google Wallet, essentially stripped out the universal search function, no longer allowing GS3 users to use the search app to find contacts or apps stored on their device. Lame, we know.

Now, Sprint has finally come clean about the update, admitting that it did, in fact, dumb down Google’s search application. Without beating around the bush, a Sprint rep told Phone Scoop today, “The new software update does disable the universal search function on Galaxy S III.” This was no doubt a move Sprint, Samsung and Google had to make in order to avoid potential legal action from Apple, who was able to convince a US District judge to impose a preliminary injunction on the Galaxy Nexus for a few short weeks. Seems the injunction hit a little too close to home for Samsung and Sprint who also offer another device with a huge target on its back — the Galaxy S3.

When it comes to the current trend of injunctions hitting smartphones as of late, Sprint hasn’t exactly been quiet on the matter. The carrier recently filed an amicus brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit focusing specifically on the damages the carrier suffers when injunctions are being handed out like flapjacks at IHOP.  Sprint said, “preliminary injunctive relief should not become a staple of the ‘smartphone wars,'” also going on to say that if the tables were turned — and it was Samsung who was getting Apple devices banned — their position would remain the same. To sum it up, when OEM’s go to war, the carriers lose.

Like we’ve mentioned before, you can expect Google’s new dumbed down search to hit all the hottest selling Android devices on the market. That is, after all, Apple’s target: competition.

[FOSSPatents | PhoneScoop]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Apple = fail.

  2. The AT&T SGS3 just got an update to dumb down Google search as well.

  3. Google now seems to search amazingly on my gnex :-)

  4. But the phone still supper over the IPhone anyway.

  5. Let me get this straight Apple, you are suing Google, the king of all things search, for patent infringement on searching on a smartphone?! So freaking ridiculous what lengths Apple goes to trying to keep the herd from wandering off.

    Can’t beat them, sue them iGuess.. whats next? vow thermonuclear war on them? :/

    1. I was going to say it could be an iNuke, but apparently that name is already taken by an obscenely large iPhone dock.

      1. Apple likes to iTroll the smartphone world with their iSue antics. But that’s just the beginning, soon they’ll iPatent the world…

  6. I don’t understand Apple. Suing Samsung over the universal search function when my HTC EVO 4G LTE can still do it. Then Suing HTC for have a menu pop up when you click a link displaying different apps you can choose from while Samsung phones still have that feature. Doesn’t make sense.

    1. Oh, they’ll get around to the HTC EVO, One X or whatever else is selling really well right now.

  7. I still don’t understand how something like this even gets patented. I can definitely understand patenting and/or copyrighting the algorithms to do so. But the overall functionality from the user side? WTF Apple?! It should be perfectly acceptable for two companies to arrive at the same solution via different routes.

  8. the next nexus is going to give apple the shaft >.>

  9. If anyone received this update but wants their old search functions back, I have the APK backed up here.

    1. FYI to anyone using this APK to roll back their search function, until a fix is found you may need to reinstall the APK after each reboot.

  10. I hope companies start proactively trying to invalidate these asinine patents.

  11. Makes me glad that I installed jelly bean on my nexus before these “updates” undoubtedly roll out to that too.

  12. anddddddddd what my feeble brain never understands about this is why search is treated so differently on a computer and a “mobile”. Are they not essentially the same thing? My laptop is mobile too, better ban unified search on that too.

    1. don’t give em any ideas…

      1. that would result in Macbooks, iPhones, iPads, iTouchs all losing search which would be a dumba** move .

        1. apple has the patent, why would they sue themselves?

  13. My question has always been along the lines of.. hasn’t the search function (ya know, the thing brought up by the little magnifying glass on the capacitive buttons on older phones) always searched multiple sources? Because it has, and Android has had that since 1.6 at least if my memory isn’t too far off.

  14. Google needs to take away Google search from iPhones! Just to make things even, that would cripple Siri big time!

    1. Siri uses Wolfram Alpha. It would not impact Siri at all. All it would do is piss off a bunch of iPhone users who (because they are stupid. We know this because they own an iPhone) would blame Google for “not playing fair”.

      1. Yes it is WolframAlpha you are correct. However it’s not Apple users who are mad, it’s just Apple execs trying to make Steve Jobs dying wish come true, to kill Android. Most Apple users are either oblivious of the lawsuits or they don’t care about any kind of infringing. I’d say most consumers don’t like the litigation Apple is levying against Android handset makers, regardless of which phone they carry in their pocket. That’s why I’ve said that the only thing this does for Apple is hurt their reputation in for ALL consumers, even the ones that shop in their stores.

  15. Voicing concerns is political talk for “not our problem.” If Sprint was really concerned about it and their customers, they’d be hassling Apple about it.

  16. Apple has used Google maps, Google search, copied multi tasking , also copied the pull down notification bar! Google should do something.

  17. So now that Apple has pulled the carriers into the battle maybe we’ll see more complaint’s about this nonsense. The carriers couldn’t care less about patent wars between manufacturers, they just want to sell the latest and greatest to customers…and customers want the Galaxy Nexus dangit!!

  18. Windows has had “unified search” in everything but name for years now. Google, Samsung et al should join up and challenge the patent at it’s foundation – it never should have been granted in the first place to to existing prior art. The same is true of the majority of software patents, those held by Apple and otherwise.

  19. So is this just entering text? Is it going to eff up the Google Now addition. If I say, “Text John Baker I am going to be late” will it no longer be able to search for John Baker in contacts anymore?

  20. It would be great if just for one week Google impacted the Apple customer base in just one simple way. If ANYONE using an Apple device tried to acces ANYTHING that belonged to Google they would get an error message that said, “We’re sorry, you are using a device that is not supported by Google at this moment. If you would like to see what Google has to offer, click here for a list of supported devices.” Just doing that for one week would open up the eyes of any Apple fan boy to see how much they need Google.

  21. Don’t update folks. Google stream is in the works says the crystal ball.

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