Sprint’s Galaxy S3 “Security” Update Features Dumbed Down Search App – Attempts To Prevent Apple Lawsuit?


Earlier today, we told you guys about a security update hitting the Sprint Galaxy S3 and were confident the OTA wouldn’t introduce anything “malicious” into the device. And we were right — to a point.

While the update did manage to fix some issues the device was having with Google Wallet, it seems to have intentionally taken away some functionality with the Google Search app. Just like the dumbed down Search app that Google is shipping with new Galaxy Nexuses to avoid Apple’s injunctions, it seems Samsung/Google/Sprint are taking preventative measures to avoid a similar ban from hitting the Galaxy S3 on Sprint.

The new reduced functionality search app will no longer simultaneously search for contacts and applications installed on the device, instead, only pulling up queries from the web. Before you get up in arms over the OTA, regaining the lost search functionality is as easy as installing the old GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk, so it’s not something that’s particularly too difficult to fix. It’s just a matter of time before similar “security” updates begin hitting the device on other networks.


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. so this dumbed down search thing is removing google now?

    1. Sorry, I should have clarified in the post. The app will no longer search phone contacts, or apps installed on the device/in the market. Only web searches now. =/

      1. So what happens when I say to google now to start up an app?
        Did that actually work before the change?
        Asking it to turn on wifi didn’t work in the first place right?

        1. I believe it’s only for search. Voice commands should be intact.

          1. im talking the whole google now card UI thing

          2. Not sure on how Google Now will be modified to work around Apple’s (ridiculous) patent.

            As far as Search goes on ICS, it will no longer search locally, only the web like a traditional Google search.

          3. You’re right about it being only for search.
            Google Now is not about searching, so IMO there’s no reason and no chance for it to be modified.
            Regarding the identical card format in Google Voice Search, AFAIK it’s only a way to display results to web searches, so it has nothing to do with the ‘604 patent.

  2. I personally enjoy maliciously trashing the iPhone to customers. suicide is my favorite topic.
    can’t wait til the 5 comes out to trash it even more.

  3. Leave apple a piece of your mind on their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Apple-Inc/137947732957611

    1. I got an idea for Google. How about having our devices keep a log of what’s installed on our Google accounts. Therefore, our device will look on a secured website instead of our devices.

      The downside is that Google Now would require an internet connection for it to work.

      1. It’s not a bad idea… they’re already storing installed apps and contacts data on their servers.
        This could be the perfect workaround, and would drive Apple mad. :D
        Hurry Google! Patent the “search the web for items on the device” feature before Apple does!

        Well, now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure they would mention the doctrine of equivalents then.

        Oh BTW, we’re not talking about Google Now, but Google (Voice) Search.
        Google Now is just the silent part of the assistant, you don’t search with it.

  4. I have the HTC EVO LTE, and I tired of links opening the web browser vice the app, ie YouTube.

    This is another setback.

    Apple dumbing down the competitions smart phones.

    These other companies need to get together and figure or something. The shit of chipping away at Android is getting old.

  5. What is the version number of the dumbed-down app and is it higher than the one of the app which is on the Play Store? I’m hoping that Google is just trying to trick Apple / the justice system by putting the non-infringing version on phones while letting consumers update to the full version on the store.

    1. Nah Apple will inspect everything that ever comes from Android and if they think something infringes they scream EMERGENCY!!!!

  6. When this goes to court, Apple will lose spectacularly.

  7. It blows my mind that those asshats at the uspto granted a patent for this to apple. Total horseshit. That patent needs to be invalidated bigtime.

    1. Not to mention Google had this functionality in their algorithm for searching almost ten years ago with their original search engine.

      You can’t patent something someone else did first…

  8. How can you patent a method? A method for searching? I mean that would be like me saying I’m patenting cutting a tomato into slices! Now everyone must pay for my “special” knives to cut tomatoes forever! Muhhhahahaah! WTF? What is the patent office doing?

  9. This is stupid! Google should just take YouTube away from iPhones to make it even!!

    1. Or cut Google search from Apple products, this would made isheeps mad instantly… but Never going to happen. DONT BE EVIL…

    2. I wish, but Google would never do that, at least not yet. They make their money off people using their services, and iPhone users account for a major user base in the mobile sphere. Google has always said that they want to have as many people on many different platforms using their services as possible.

      But if Google changed their mind it would be kind of funny watching Apple just try to replace the YouTube app with something else. And other Google services in app form? Gone. Yeah, Apple could use a little humbling in that department, and it would raise consumer awareness about just what is going down with Apple going “thermonuclear war” on Android.

      Google could even stop supporting iPhone browser access online, or even more maliciously block iOS devices altogether. But that would never happen. And even if it did I’m sure governments all over would be slapping Google for some kind of abuse according to various regulations no doubt…but oh wouldn’t it be awesome if that happened! At least until Apple decided to grow up and act like anything other than a huge douchebag.

  10. So essentially Apple was granted a patent for searching multiple databases simultaneously, correct? I’m pretty sure that existed long before the iPhone. It’s not about using a specific search algorithm, is it?

    1. Just put the word “mobile” on a existing patent already granted to someone who really invented something for PCs or DBs 30 years ago, a couple of thousand dollars and all set. In 3 to 5 years you will have the patent granted. Instead of investing billons on developing the core technology that make a smartphone useful (3G, 4G, Wifi, GPS, displays, CPUs, memory, etc), apply for the most random “design” and “software” patents and then ban everybody else paying penies for the other FRAND patents that make the devices work.

  11. Ok. Me being a web coder here, how about a small drop down next to the search box allowing you to choose where to search? Wouldn’t that work around the patent?

  12. If Google retaliated, that would just make things worse. Apple is getting away with the dirty work by hiding behind their facade so the general public doesn’t see. But if Google did anything against their precious iProducts, the whole world would start calling Google the devil.

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