Android Central

Following the removal of local search (or universal search) in the latest over-the-air update for the Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), the manufacturer has released a statement addressing the issue. Samsung says that the removal of the ability to search content on the device from the Google Search app was "inadvertent," and that it will be restored for GT-i9300 owners in a future update.

Here's the statement Samsung released to UK site TechRadar --

"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."

As we pointed out at the time, the removal of local search from the international S3 was a puzzling move, as Apple has yet to challenge Samsung over the feature in the European courts. Now it seems the loss of local search was most likely the result of programmer error, rather than Samsung hedging its bets and seeking to avoid further litigation.

In the U.S., the Sprint and AT&T Galaxy S3's have had the feature stripped out in over-the-air updates, as a precautionary measure, following legal action by Apple over local search, which temporarily resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being banned in the U.S. Unfortunately it's unlikely those phones will see local search return anytime soon, but at least it's good news today for international S3 owners.

Source: TechRadar


Reader comments

International Galaxy S3 local search removal 'inadvertent', says Samsung, patch due in days


I honestly would love to see the patent paper work for this patent since I have been able to do a universal search going back to some of my earlier non-smartphones, my PC, my blackberry, and just about every other search enabled device. I know the way it does it on mobile is slightly different then PC but its still the same concept. All these lawsuits are like RCa suing magnavox for making a square tube based TV. It is like them saying you cant have a square TV you need to make it a completely different shape who cares if shows are shot in a square format looks lIke your company is goinG to fail because we patented an idea we didnt first have after the industry set a standard. Nevermind the fact that it is all industry standards we are talking about here.

It's my understanding that the patent covers searching on a mobile device and on the net in the same search request.

Searching for Android Central on your phone isn't patented. Searching for Android Central on the net isn't patented.

Doing both searches from a single search request at the same time is what is covered.

It's a stupid trivial patent. Like feeling for your phone in your back pocket at the same time as looking at the couch to see if you left it there, while at the same time asking "anyone see my phone? ".

OK, here's the patent, "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system". That sounds awfully vague.

Filed in 1994, granted in 2011. What? Why'd it take so long? By 2011, weren't the waters sufficiently muddied? Universal search had long been ubiquitous. Microsoft, for example.

Turns out Samsung pays Microsoft for every phone they sell, but that doesn't protect them against Apple. Even though Microsoft have had a universal search since 2001.

In my view, the blame falls squarely on the patent office for granting this patent in 2011 which had been in use by the millions a full decade prior.

Samsung doesn't pay Microsoft for Universal search, they pay for Fat32 and MS Exchange features and MTP.

Exactly, how does the patent office issue a patent for something that broad that far removed from when It was filed. Also back in 94 apple wasnt even close to making a phone they were on the brink of falling apart as a company. The only thing that saved them was the advent of the iPod.

In other words -- we thought Apple had a strong case, but now our lawyers are telling us to go ahead and add it back.

Genius move by Samsung! First put out the update without the local search, then put out the update with the local search. This gives the devs both updates to compare, then be able to restore the local search codes for the U.S. versions that Apple got removed!