Verizon: Bing Not on ALL Future Handsets, Google Voice Search Available With Android 2.2


bing-androidThere’s hope yet! Verizon’s caught wind of all of the commentary going around the blogosphere (from writers and readers alike) regarding Bing on their Android devices. Namely, the Samsung Fascinate was launched with Bing preloaded as the default search engine with no apparent way to change it. I can vouch for others’ professed difficulty in getting Google search installed onto the device as I tried finding it in the market with no luck, and downloading the .APK file from XDA proved to be a waste of time as I was met with errors installing it (the same file is said to install just fine on other Galaxy S devices, though they already have Google Search installed.)

Anywho, the second piece to this puzzle was a rumor that Bing would be on all future Verizon handsets as it is on Fascinate, something our friend The Droid Guy said he had good authority on. There was a reason I hadn’t entertained the rumor just yet, and this statement from Verizon is it:

“…that is not true. We have a relationship with Microsoft and Bing is the search engine on our multi-media phones but we have never said it would be exclusive on all of our devices.”


Be careful in noting the wording, however: they’re only going to install it as default on their “multi-media” phones. My first question: what does Verizon consider a multi-media phone? How is the Samsung Fascinate not a smartphone just as much as the Droid X or Droid 2? That’s another story for another day, however. So the Droid Guy wasn’t completely wrong, but if we assume Verizon only considers phones with the Droid name smartphones (because the Fascinate does everything those phones can do, and probably more), then is it safe to say that any non-Droid Android on Verizon’s network won’t be coming pre-installed with Google Search and Maps?

That question will be answered over time, I suppose, but Verizon’s got another trick up their sleeve to cap this story off. According to them, once the Fascinate receives its upgrade to Android 2.2 (and it will), users will be able to download the new Voice Search app that Google introduced a while back for all Froyo devices. With that should come the traditional Google Search we all know and love. It still doesn’t explain why Google Search was blocked in the first place, but we’ll roll with it.

[via Engadget]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I would refuse to buy the phone immediately after seeing a bing widget on the phone

  2. I second that, Spencer! Bing = Crap. Google = God.

  3. I wonder how many suits at Verizon are regretting the deal they made with Microsoft right now?

  4. Heh, I wont be buying a phone that doesn’t allow custom roms anyway. If Verizon is smart though they will update it to allow you to switch the search engine, or Google could just add the feature in Android 3.0 or 2.3 or whatever.

  5. Whats the big deal? Just root, put CM6 on it and install w/e you want.

  6. @Chris Nelson not every phone has guaranteed (and perfect) CM6 support. This is coming from an EVO user who can’t use 4G and MMS on stable CM6. If life were that easy, I’m sure everyone would be on it.

  7. I still don’t understand how any company would/could think putting Bing on a gorge operating system phone would be a good idea.

  8. This is typical microsoft. They are no doubt paying verizon a boat load of money to make bing the default browser, and they are probably offering verizon some share of revenue from bing hits from verizon phones or they are giving an extra chunk of money to make the phone only work with bing. This was what they did with IE when they were trying to stop netscape, they’d make these deals with isps. Although it was structures so they charged ISPs for a service and then discounted it for each thing they did to remove netscape or make web sites incompatable with it…

  9. I was so looking forward to this phone until it becomes Verizon Fiasco. I will never buy a phone with Bing or MSFT crap on it. I also try hard to tell everyone I know not to buy anything with those crap. It does not matter whether you can remove after rooting it, we should send a message to Verizon and MSFT. I will wait for the Nexus1 replacement from Google.

  10. I went to the Verizon store to play around with this phone a bit yetsterday and while it is a very nice phone and would be excellent for the average user not knowing all about Android, it is not a phone for tech savy person on any of these blogs. With what Verizon did with Bing only Cripled the potential of the Fascinate. If the would have left it with Google instead of Bing this could very easily compete with the DX, D2, or DINC but, I now look at it as a high end feature phone. Did run smooth and quick and while comfortable to hold feels extremely cheap does not feel like it will hold up with even light abuse.

  11. Even after all of these years of business success, Microsoft is still trying to be another Apple. Why are these guys so afraid of competition? Offer a product and let the market decide if it is any good, don’t cram it down the consumer’s throat.

  12. I will never buy an Android phone that comes with Bing instead of Google. If it had Bing in addition maybe, as long as I can delete bing off once I get it.

    I to wrote Verizon yesterday about this issue and here is the response that I got…

    “My name is Thornton, and I am delighted to assist you with google, bing and Verizon Wireless. I am please to tell you that Verizon Wireless is not going to abandon google at all and you can rest assured of that. I do apologize for any false information that you have received. There will be some android phones that may have bing available soon; however, google is android and will be here a long time to come so you will still have be free to download from the market.

    It was a pleasure assisting you with google and bing. Thank you for using Verizon Wireless. Have a wonderful day.


    Verizon Wireless
    Customer Service”

    Oh and BTW Microsoft paid $500 million for Bing exclusivity.

  13. That response sounded like we didn’t say we are but we are anyways. I got an android because windows mobile was an utter piece of shit, and now they think they can whip up a search engine? Not stop there but pay companies to put it on their products to make it popular? If bing was something real i’d pee all over it.

  14. The Samsung Fascinate is a version of Galaxy S which every carrier is getting. VZW isn’t going to call it a DROID if other carriers sell a version identical to it because that would mean those other carriers have DROID as well. Also, the Fascinate is suppose to get Android 2.2, but not until the end of the Q4, so most likely they expect that people will end up liking/keeping the Bing once the upgrade comes around.

  15. I am too looking for my next upgrade. I have the incredible but now i have a chance to upgrade so now im looking at the Fac. or the DX… BUT as soon as i saw it had BING… i was like ewww…they messed up a good phone. Looks like I will be a X-Man…lol

  16. What is Bing? Never heard of it.

  17. what people have to understand is this people are going to buy large quantities of these phones, they are going to complain but they are going to have to use bing with the promise that by the time samsung has new phone they will have an option.

    yeah lots will complain but it’s either bing or nothing, some people will defect to bing others will use it because they have to. it’s win win for tiny limp

  18. For me it was a $200 decision. My wife was getting the Droid 2. I couldn’t budge her from that. I was deciding between the Droid X and Fascinate. When they said buy the Fascinate and get your wife’s Droid 2 for free, well, I can suffer with Bing for $200. Thank God this news has come telling me I don’t have to deal with Bing forever. Once Froyo comes, Bing goes.

  19. This proves how two-faced M$ is. They absolutely refuse to allow many drivers/programs of theirs to be used with Linux, yet they jump on the Android-Linux bandwagon as soon as there is money involved for them. They are a parasite when it comes to progress.

  20. @Dabil”Verizon Wireless
    Customer Service”Oh and BTW Microsoft paid $500 million for Bing exclusivity.”

    Sure. Google asked to be the “upon activation” Browser on all Verizon handsets. BING, Offered double the Cash. The great irony of course are the Android phones esp on Verizon are laying everything else in it’s wake. I would though on this one look alittle closer at SAMSUNG being behind this decision.

    Don’t be surprised in a couple years nokia, blackberry intregrate their own “with Google”

  21. If Microsoft & Verizon want to put Bing on their upcoming Windows 7 phones, fine. But don’t come into the Google neck of the woods and shove it down our throats.

    There’s a reason most people went with Android phones, for the Google experience. Not the Bing experience. I’m not super worried. I think Verizon is testing the waters. Once they see the backlash (in decreased sells for phones like the Facinate) but continued sales for the Droid line they’ll know what needs to be done.

    If they dare start tampering with the Motorola Droid line of phones, best believe I’ll have no qualms switching back to Sprint for their Droid offerings.

    Did Verizon not learn anything from the AT&T line of Android phones?

  22. I was in Verizon today none of the employee phones would do a sucessful link from Bing to any web page. It’s a flaw in Bing and Verizon refuses to admit it. They said “just put a google shortcut on the home page” I was absolutly furious

  23. OK, I prefer choice so I wouldn’t have an issue with Bing being a CHOICE. But Verizon doesn’t give you a choice. It’s Bing only. M$ once again cannot create a product that people want so they have to force it on them. They PAID VZ to put Bing on the Andriod phones, they will add it to more soon :( Verizon lost a customer because of this stupid decision. Have the idiot suits factored the lost revenue from lost sales of this stupid move? They are so dumb that they don’t realize leaving the Andriod phones alone (open) they will make more money! Penny wise, dollar foolish. Wake up VZ. You lost me years ago because of the stupid things you did to your phones before and you almost had me back until I saw that you’re up to your old stupidity.

  24. Unfortunately, the Samsung Fascinate is now the top selling smartphone for Verizon Wireless- so I don’t think the lack of Google is hurting the sales at all.

  25. I can not believe they are going to pollute the Android OS with Microsoft Products. What is going on at Verizon headquarters, what drugs are they on these days? Early upgrade gone, prices soaring, and now Bing. Go to &^%$ Verizon!!!

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