Yesterday’s news that local search capabilities were “inadvertently” removed from the international Samsung Galaxy S3 came with the promise of an update to restore said capabilities. As of today, that update is officially rolling out. Local search, which has been at the center of an ongoing patent case between Samsung and Apple, is one of several factors that led to a temporary US ban of Galaxy devices including the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Samsung has been quietly removing the functionality preemptively from US carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S3, but it is now clear that an update that stripped the ability for querying local items like contacts and apps was not meant to do so for the global variant. The corrective update is small at only 5MB and takes the device to software version XXBLG8 of its Android 4.0.4 build. The update also is said to offer “stability improvements,” but based on its size no major differences (other than local search) are expected to be found.