Google Search on the Verizon Fascinate

Here's how to put Google search back on the Verizon Fascinate, and it takes just a third-party launcher and a single download. It's simple as can be and doesn't require root, and it adds one piece of functionality we were missing from our previous fix: You'll get native Google search and voice search back.

Here are your instructions:

  • Download the Enhanced Google Search provider apk from the second post of this forum thread.
  • Place the file on your SD card, and install it through your favorite file manager.
  • In a third-party launcher (like ADW or Launcher Pro), put the Google search widget back on your home screen, if you like. It'll work now. Same goes for the search button. Again, you have to use a third-party launcher.

You'll still need to download Google Maps from the market if you haven't already. And while the phone's physical search button (or capacitive, we know) will now work with Google, holding it to initiate a voice search still routs through Bing. So we're about 90 percent there. (Update: See below)

Otherwise, we're talking no root, no muss, no fuss, and no waiting for Verizon to "fix" this when it eventually releases Android 2.2.  I love it!  [Android Central forums] Big thanks to namebrandon and Cory!

Update: As Cory demonstrates in the video after the break, you can get the search button to work for voice search. Here's how he did it. You're going to have to be rooted. (Sorry, but that's how it is, get instructions for that here.) Go to /system/app and rename I500_BingSearchAndroid_07152010.apk to I500_BingSearchAndroid_07152010.old. You may need to reboot. But after that, it should work.

Update 2: Added more video of it in action after the break.

 
There are 81 comments

shizzy1427 says:

Maybe babies will stop complaining now. Maybe.

Evo2DroidX says:

Shouldn't have to do this. Its the principle.

Archerdude says:

Nice good work to everyone who took part.

So sad that you have to do so much to search Google on an Android phone.

macsmister says:

OMG I cannot wait to pick up my new Fascinate at the FedEx facility tomorrow!!!!!!!

bxojr says:

Nice. Less than 48 hours after launch. I knew a way would be found, but I must admit I didn't expect it this fast.

papa54 says:

the way around was found over month ago by very talented devs. so yea now Samsung runs out a version 2 and will be surprised at how few will even bother with their petty Upload of something promised last year. Go Devs more power to the people,.

NexusNole says:

awesome, can't wait to try it. Any chance someone could make a one button root for us noobs?

ogwilson says:

Guys, I respect your site but you're not telling the entire truth here. I have the fascinate. 1: the Google Search widget reroutes to bing. 2: The Voice Search reroutes to Bing. 3: You had to install a third party .apk file regardless, and even then that doesn't work. 4: You never actually show any of these searches being automatically routed to Google in any of these videos. There's a reason this video is only 40 seconds long without you ever actually showing yourself hitting Google through any of the methods you talk about.

Why are you trying to pull fake wool over the eyes of your readers? Why are you making excuses for Verizon? Please be more responsible here. Stop trying to make it seem as if all is right with the world when firstly, you have to jump through hoops to get this stuff on the phone, and even then it doesn't work how you say it should. I'm sure others will call shenanigans once they're finally able to get the phone for themselves.

1. No it does not.
2. Uh... nope. It returns the results in Google
3. It's not a 3rd party apk, it's actually an Android apk that came from the Vibrant system dump.
4. Seriously? Check out the forum if you need additional confirmation.

As mentioned in the article you will need to install the apk from the Vibrant (posted in the forum). Once you've done so, the capacitive search button will route and return your results via Google. Changing the name of the i500 apk mentioned removes Bing from your app drawer and has the affect of making a long press of the button trigger Google Voice search. The results are returned by Google. As stated in the article the Google Search widget will only show up as a widget option in a 3rd party launcher, such as Launcher Pro. If you do what I listed above, search results are indeed returned by Google.

Feel free to counter my video with one of your own showing that you did all those things and can't get it to work.

blalien777 says:

Hey Cory, please excuse my phone knowledge, but all I need to do is install launcher pro or the other 3rd party launcher then I can install google search? Where do I get google search once I have the 3rd party app running?

mickey jones says:

"Why are you trying to pull fake wool over the eyes of your readers?"

What, exactly, would be their motivation to do this? Chill

Don't be a troll. We've proved this six different ways now. We're not making excuses for anybody. We're finding fixes because we like to do more than just complain.

But since you asked, there's now a special video, just for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5defFg9VYM

cyrylthewolf says:

Hehehehehe... Nice.

This may sound cliche but...

"pwn3d! LOL1!"

And if Phil's video isn't enough, not knowing he was making one, I made my own video. Toward the end, I demonstrate how to do it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_vObNgV9W8

Edit: At the end of my video I called out Nexus, when I was actually speaking to ogwilson. Sorry about that.

yankdez says:

cory, can you post a vid of how to root for us rooting noobs? personally, i have a mac and pc to work with.

Sure thing. Will post in the forums in a few hours.

Lupismaximus says:

I am confused.... I can do everything on my facinate except put the Google Search widget (Without Launcher Pro) on the top of my home screen and change the search button Bing reroute. I just put the voice search button on my home page, and I made Google maps as my default maping program. The things that don't work which a root would definitely fix is the search button and the Bing hot buttons on the Car Doc and desk dock programs.

I am all about rooting and the procedure seems easy, but for those who are hesitant, you can make 80% of the Google programs work, except for the search button. If you like the look of Launcher Pro (Not a personal fan), you can then put the Google Search on the home screen, and this does not reroute to Bing as NexusNole states. Neither do any of the other programs I mentioned above. Also, if you want google search, then download another browser (DolphinHD, Opera, Skyfire) and search in their search field. This is google and not Bing.

Just a suggestion for those who don't want to root but want to use Google Voice Search, Google Maps, and Google in browser Search as your default programs.

NexusNole says:

I think your mistaken, I didn't state anything like that.

papa54 says:

SC 2.9.2v or (nv) took care of all these problems about Google etc,

I work for a big name retailer, and I talk customers out of buying this POS phone. I tell them it's a windows based phone because of all the bing crap, and that it has a slow processor, small battery and less memory than a Android phone. They always believe me. I end up selling them a incredible, Droid X, or Droid 2.

dacp283 says:

So space android you're saying you're just like apple and microsoft by escalating your own agenda by lying to your customers with bs stats/facts instead of giving them the real deal, educating them to facts so that they can make an educated judgement for themselves....you don't belong here.

This is why I buy everything online now.

mickey jones says:

I always tell people "Don't trust big name retailer salespeople". They always believe me.

Mtnraider says:

That's kind of a crummy thing to do.

the new WP7 will be great phones, I'll probably get one because I love Zune so much, your bias speaks of lack of education and honesty. Just be straight with them, a commission check isn't worth a man's integrity, IMO.

and, PUT Zune on Android and @pple will die...

Ninspec says:

"They always believe me. I end up selling them a incredible, Droid X, or Droid 2."
Sounds like your selling iPhones as well. Do you by some chance work at Best Buy, sounds like something they would tell me.

But seriously thats juts not cool, at all.

papa54 says:

when in reality the humming bird will out run and out work snapdragon

dacp283 says:

Im going to get back on topic now and say I very much dislike this bing fiasco and think that the move on verizon and microsofts part is bordering illegal as mis representation seeing as on all android phones I've seen somewhere they are branded "with google" yet verizon has effectively eliminated all google tools from it minus the os of course. Buyers expect google not ms.

rgm1266 says:

Sorry..I'm a newbie. When you say "install thru your favorite file mgr", what do you mean and how do you do that? Sorry if that seems like a dumb questions. This is my first android phone. Any insturctions would be very helpful.

Thanks

1. Download the APK.
2. Move it to your SD card.
3. Open the My Files app on your phone and click on the apk to install.

Hit us up in the forums if you need more help.

ksi69 says:

This whole thing looks like an exercise in hackery with the main result of "look I did it". I can understand having a preference concerning search engines, but functionally, I can't see a difference. Who knows, Bing might even be better.

Looks like too much time on a lot of people's hands, combined with the human need to solve puzzles.

Hack on, ye merry nerds.

jezdan2005 says:

bing is garbage compared to google and i have a way to make google native to browser and voice search on stock launcher. No more bing anywhere on my fascinate

steve19137 says:

personally, I think that this phone should keep bing. why? because then when I see the vibrant commercial, I can scream "look it's the bing phone!!!!!"

jezdan2005 says:

i am using stock launcher and stock browser and it is google and the search button is google and the voice search is google. No more bing and it is easy to do without a third party launcher.

Eazail70x7 says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vObmvaC1DW0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU_JRgzHfKw

Apparently when you make launcher pro your default home and Dolphin HD your default browser, all your searches are routed trough google. The capacitive search button appears to work as well. I speak this only from what see in the above clips I posted.

Don't care what anyone says. My store didn't sell any yesterday because of me. Instead we sold 10 Droid 2's, 6 Droid X's, and 8 Incredibles. I'll make sure this Microsoft abortion dies a quick death.

Smokexz says:

LOL, glad to know, yeah the device itself is great though (regardless if it doesn't have the same amount of ram) but the Bing implementation just makes it "worse". I would definitely get the Droid 2 or X over the Fascinate, but I would much rather have the Vibrant or Epic 4g much faster has Google and launcherpro is a perfect replacement for touchwiz

Oh and I wouldn't get the captivate because you can't side load apps... fail I like to use the app inventor to fool around with.

bxojr says:

Let me get this straight ... one sales rep at one store lies to a few customers and prevents the sale of maybe five or six Fascinates. Yeah, Verizon will be filing for bankruptcy by the end of the month.

Carry on the noble fight. For great justice!

dacp283 says:

Space Android are special.

jezdan2005 says:

droid 2 sucks compared to fascinate. I had droid 2 and it froze up all the time and Always had to call verizon to get them to send me another one. I had 4 droid 2 phones in 45 days. I have had fascinate for 2 months and no problems. Now that I have google on the stock launcher and no more bing it is the best phone by far over the droid 2.

Smokexz says:

Boy am I glad the Vibrant didn't get Bing, still kinda angry that Verizon still has Skype

oldAGE says:

I don't know, maybe it's just me. Are we talking about the complete replacement of BING or simply, like the first Update indicates, getting Google Voice Search to work. If the latter, then it's native. I simply downloaded the Google Voice Search App and stuck it on my home screen and it searches without an issue via Google. No rooting, no replacing files, no .apk fake outs.... With that in place, me personally, with google maps and beta nav, I have what I need (except a quality robust email client... squeaking by with K9 now but after 36 hours, I do miss my BB for that robust functionality...) AGE

abansal says:

Hi.. A Android Noob here. I did everything but can't get the google search widget on launcher pro. How do I do that? Thanks a lot.

DonBrizzel says:

Can this work with the vanilla launcher, or do I absolutely have to get a third party launcher such as LP?

icebike says:

Apparently at this time you need LP. (or somthing).

That's not so scary tho.

You can switch launchers at will, Just install LP, and the next time you go tap Home, it will ask if you want to use default or LP. Check the box to make your choice the default, and then select LP. (You can undo this choice in Settings / Applications / LauncherPro /unset defaults button).

The biggest hassle is that when you first start LP you have to configure your screens all over again.

(On a new phone, this isn't so bad because you can just leave the bloatware one as it was and add LP and configure the way you want it, rather than having to spend the time wading thru the crapware they load on the phones from the store).

Having stock Foryo on an N1, I didn't see much improvement in what LP offered other than the expanded and scrollable dock. I still use it, but I'm not all ga-ga about it like some here.

French says:

I can't get the capacitive button to activate Google voice search...I've renamed the Bing file and I've installed voice search. Not sure why it's not working for me...

icebike says:

Did you miss the reboot step at the end?

Being linux, Android lets you delete a file that is in use, and the system continues to retain the file (hidden) until it is no longer in use, and then the delete actually happens.

The reboot is what forces that file to be "not in use".

French says:

I rebooted, and have rebooted since a few more times. I didn't actually delete it, just renamed it as instructed above.

bstringy says:

Having the same issue even after rebooting a couple times. Renaming didn't work. Deleting didn't work.

jeffc111 says:

Me either - I must be missing something - any resolution?

Eazail70x7 says:

I just played with a Fascinate today at a verizon store and was able to eliminate bing from all searches accept for the holding of the capacitive button voice search. That's what I could not change.

Here's what i did to transform the Fascinates in the store back into google phones:

- Download Dolphin HD browser and set it as your default browser (great browser)
- Download Launcher Pro (great home replacement)
- Download google maps (you get google nav, maps, etc)

Boom, that's it! If I hit the capacitive search button, it searches google. If I push the google voice icon next to the search bar, it will search google. If I search within the google search bar widget itself it searches through google. The only way to make it search through bing is by holding the capacitive search button to bring up voice search

Edit: just saw the video phil posted up and didn't realize you don't need dolphin lol

crcr says:

The Bing and TouchWiz crap are all fixable, but the lack of a Notification LED light on the Fascinate is a deal breaker for me. I'm going to stick with my D Incredible.

Bought a Fascinate today. Bringing it back tomorrow. I cannot get over the Bing garbage after thinking I would not mind and would just work around it. It is maddening that a good phone can get ruined with that crap. Also, FWIW, the signal is MUCH lower than on my Droid1. Side by side, sitting on a counter the D1 will have 4 bars and the Fascinate fluctuating between 1-2 bars, sometimes dropping down to 0. Never again will I ever ever ever even consider a phone with Bing. Lesson learned. I am looking forward to a D2.

prakash99 says:

I was surprised I did not mind TouchWiz. It is not such a bad launcher but of course Launcher Pro Plus is better. And I admit I probably would have stayed with TW if it had not been for the Google issue.

Someone actually wanted a Fascinate at my store today. I tried really hard to talk him out of it, telling him about how bad Bing was and how you couldn't put Goggle on it at all, but he really wanted it so I set it up for him. He wasn't too bright so I told him he really needed a task killer so I put ATK and Task manager on there and set both to high priority. His battery shouldn't last more than 3 or 4 hours, restarting all the applications I told it to kill automatically. He should bring it back in a couple of days, pissed off at the battery and how sluggish his brand new phone is. I'll sell him a Droid 2, Droid X or Incredible, doesn't matter which one.

mediocreman says:

You ruined someones experience with the device they wanted because you don't like it? Jesus Christ, have a bit more professionalism.

Did Bing kill your family or something?

Dude, that's not cool, and completely unprofessional. What right do you have to ruin somebody's experience with a new phone? I hate Bing as much as the next guy, but it's not like having it on your phone will ruin your life. If he didn't mind it, that's HIS choice, NOT yours. As a sales person, it's your job to point out the pros and cons of each device, and ultimately sell the customer whatever they choose.

For the record, I had enough of Sense UI with my Droid Eris, so I ended up passing on the Incredible, and I don't like the design of the Motorola Droids at all. I can't stand physical keyboards, and the Droid X is just too big (and ironically, its function buttons are too small, making them hard to press). I could also cite Motoblur as a huge downfall, but I would have replaced any stock launcher with Launcher Pro Plus anyway. Anyway, the combination of 4" Super AMOLED screen and 1GHz Hummingbird processor made this the best choice for me. Even if I could not have rooted it to restore Google Search, it still would have been my preferred choice, and had I been the customer you did that to, I would have had your manager terminate you right then and there.

gar1t says:

I don't believe you :)

Funny image of a maniacal phone geek sales guy though!

jnewell says:

First, most people won't notice. Second, how hard is it to create a shortcut/bookmark to Google via the browser? So the softkey doesn't work...I think the backlight bug is a bigger problem than having the softkey permanently set for Bing...

cyrylthewolf says:

Wow. You're a real tool.

You have no business working in customer service.

Especially since you went out of your way to act like an arsehole and ruin a SUPERIOR piece of hardware for this guy in hopes that he would bring it back to the store for an INFERIOR piece of hardware. All because YOU don't like Bing.

There is NOTHING you can say, think or do to justify doing what you did.

That's right, kiddo. The Samsung Fascinate is SUPERIOR to any of the Droid phones. It has either equal hardware in all respects - OR BETTER. Especially the graphics chip. At 90 million triangles per second, it is capable of 6.4 times the horsepower than that of any of the Droid phones (a mere 14 million triangles per second) and 3.75 times the horsepower of the iPhone 4 (28 million triangles per second). Not to mention the screen on the Fascinate is inarguably better quality than the Droid phones. (So what if it's a mere 58 pixels shorter in length? Same width.) The screen on the Fascinate is still crisper and brighter BY DEFINITION - being that it's an AMOLED screen.

These are things that you CAN NOT change. To try and tell your customers any differently is to obfuscate the truth. To LIE.

The Droid X is a nice phone. Don't get me wrong. But it's still inferior. That's all there is to it.

Also...given the fact that you still can't run custom roms on the Droid X... MONTHS after it's release... It's still inferior in that respect because the Fascinate was rooted the day it came out. Custom ROMS to soon follow. No doubt before the Droid X is even close to getting a custom rom.

You're a real piece of work. Go kill yourself.

Let me also warn you... There are those out there such as myself... If I came into that store and you tried to pull that shit on me, I'd have had your job. You would KNOW I wasn't playing any f@$#ing games when I look you in the eye. You'd be a step away from getting socked in the mouth for trying to pull that kind of BS with me.

Just letting you know... There are those of us out there who wouldn't give any consideration to calling for your manager. We deal with you our OWN way.

You're obviously just an idiot kid who is ignorant of the world. You should be aware... There are REAL mother f@$#ers out there like me who don't give a damn and deal directly with issues.

I strongly advise that you be more careful with peoples' money in the future - lest you have people like me run across you.

I'm just sayin'...

Zennmaster says:

Jeez, I don't hear all this complaining when a version on Windows comes out, and the only included browser is I.E. If you want to use Firefox or Opera, you have to go get it, then make it work as the default for everything.

It took two whole days to strip Bing off this device. If you feel that's too much work, then go get an iPhone. Mr. Jobs knows what you need, and you'll be well taken care of in that closed ecosystem.

Zennmaster says:

Oh, one other thing: If you're rooted, you can use Titanium Backup to make a backup of I500_BingSearchAndroid_07152010.apk, then use Titanium Backup's uninstall utility to remove the offending file. The results are the same. You have disabled Bing in a reversible manner.

For those who have stopped whining...

Evo2DroidX says:

Yes, i was beyond angry about the locked bootloader on my x. Its a problem all across th board and nothing is going to change unless we say something about it, then DO something. We pay plenty of money it should be our device to do as we please. So, people, let's get to doing. Plus we buy android cuz google is the choice we made DUH!

allan2179 says:

Whoever did this video or whoever knows, how do you change the dock icons to what yours look like on the video? I have been trying to find them on the internet but cant seem to see them anywhere.

bstringy says:

Myself and another person here, French, are having an issue even after renaming the I500_BingSearchAndroid_07152010.apk file and rebooting. I even deleted it. I've removed my battery, rebooted, and still my long-press voice searches are using Bing.

Any help with this would be appreciated.

Spunndaze says:

I had to respond to this, I have been following this site since I noticed the link at the bottom of CrackBerry.. What was mentioned above was the simplest /hack ever.. works great!

strongfist36 says:

If one were to ask a unsuspected and unprepared Android users why they went out and got an Android handset, their response would probably be along the lines of this- “Because it has more openness and less restrictions” <------- That is a load of crap. Android is only as open as the carrier and the manufacturer makes it and as Android handsets progress this will become more and more evident.

Its sad =[ you can read more about it here: http://getyourgadgetsgoing.com/2010/09/12/why-people-truly-want-android-4/

cyrylthewolf says:

Given that the carriers really seem to be mucking this all up... I can't argue with you on that point.

But the one thing that makes you somewhat wrong on this point is that the operating system's very core is open source. It is still accessible to those of us who know a thing or two about Linux. :)

All it takes is one little slip of a memory address and it's all over. :)

Even the iPhone hasn't been able to stand against the power and tenacity of the open source community.

I'm not too worried about it. I mean... Yeah. It's a pain in the ass to have to hack and slash my phone's configs, etc... But honestly? I'm constantly learning something in the process. So... Somehow I still come out ahead. Just with less time on my hands. :P

It is what it is.

gar1t says:

Massive kudos to the folks who tackled this problem! Frustratingly, even when technology triumphs over boneheaded business decisions, we're still left paying Verizon $80 a month. I need to think about that one. I know, massive whiner :/

A parody of the situation:

http://bit.ly/9UD18Y

WARNING: NSFW language and humor!

urbanechant says:

Thanks! It works perfectly!

pzafian says:

Hey folks...I don't know if this was so simple or what. I found one of those common hacks for android phones (e.g., *#*#234567#*#*, don't use it its not a real code) that allowed my Fascinate to shut down quicker (which it does). So I was playing with the Browser app (which calls up Bing), went into the menu, then "more", then "settings", then set my home page to "www.google.com". Now this didn't change the Browsers opening directly into Bing, but when I subsequently re-opened the Browser, then Menu, I either chose "new window" or "Windows" (I can't remember), it called up Google. After that, everytime I open the Browser, Google now appears as my search engine, not Bing.

MutantCheese says:

I can't seem to get my capacitive search button to use google voice search using this method.

gregbranson says:

Newbie question: everthing seems to have worked right until I try to rename Bing and I get an insufficient permission notice. Please help!

Thanks

washleyill says:

so do I have to be using launcherpro at all times to have this google experience? I launched the google download with launcherpro but it seems to only work if I have my phone running in launcher pro...

I have the fascinate.

adellc3 says:

So yeah, am I the only one who doesn't really mind having Bing on their Fascinate? Lol.
I did this whole thing a while back when I was scared of using anything other than Google. I was running LauncherPro and everything. Even had my phone rooted. Then, all of a sudden, I decided I don't want to have my phone rooted anymore, so I unrooted it. And I tried TouchWiz again after not using it for months, and then fell in love with it again. Haha. So now I'm rocking Bing and TouchWiz on my unrooted phone, and it's pretty awesome. I don't know what is up with me. This is probably Blasphemy, but I just really enjoy this phone. Froyo needs to freaking hurry up though. Good lord. Lol.

And ogwilson and space android are total douches. Especially space android. Just because you dont sell a few Fascinates doesn't mean Verizon is going to listen to you. Lol.

I was actually looking for a Droid 2, but every store I went to didn't have one. So I went to the Verizon store in the Orange Park mall here in Florida, and the sales representative, Chad, was like "Oh, we don't have any more Droid 2s.." and I about walked out when he pulled a box out from under his desk and was like "But we do have THIS!" And handed me this shiny black device that is the Fascinate and I fell in love with it right then and there. Then I broght it home and my whole family was like, wow! Verizon is awesome! And android is awesome! So they all got Droid2s. And every one of them have problems with theirs. Mine has been fine. :)

So, Space android, sell some freaking Fascinates!!!

jezdan2005 says:

there is no need to use a third party launcher on the fascinate to make google native search for browser and voice. just install the enhanced google apk and then uninstall bing with titanium backup(for rooted user only) and bam your are using nothing but google and no junky bing

miamicangri says:

AWESONE THREAD!!!! THANKS MAN

fyi...I followed the procedure in the original post exactly as explained, and it worked perfectly! However, since receiving the Android 2.2 update from Verizon, I had to uninstall the version of Google Search downloaded from the forum thread. I entered into a never-ending "Force Close" loop. With the 2.2 update, I can now install Google Search from the Android Market, but...Bing has returned as the search of choice when clicking the search button on the phone. I have not rooted this phone, but I am considering it...

laura.phipps says:

thanks

THanks for the info. Turned out to be extremely useful. BIng is thee worst web launcher ever!! Google worked

urmonator says:

Hey there, I know this is old news, but I have wanted to switch to Google instead of Bing (I switch from my Droid Charge [CRAP] to my mother's old Fascinate), and I downloaded the file, put it on my SD card, installed the APK, and I'm getting this error: "process com.google.process.gapps has stopped" and the search button and search widget both don't work.

I'm using Launcher 7 instead of the basic launcher.

Any help would be awesome!