Did Local (Universal) Search Get Restored In Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Update?

In what appears to be a little known development from yesterdays Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update, Samsung looks to have snuck local search back into their TouchWiz software. Local Search, if you’ll recall was removed from the Galaxy S III in response to Apple’s lawsuits courtesy of a maintenance update this past August. The update deleted the option for local search on all T-Mobile Galaxy S III devices. Now, it looks to be completely restored, though there’s no mention of it on T-Mobile’s support page. We’ve yet to verify with T-Mobile or Samsung on local search, but if this holds we’re thrilled to see its return.

Local search allows for the search app to look for files on the phone, like contacts or apps when users attempt a web search from the pre-loaded search app. This is an awesome feature for Android and it’s removal back in August was disheartening. Seeing it return is wonderful.

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  • brian

    isn’t that Google Now search… It’s been like that ever since Google Now came out lol

    • jeremy

      that’s what I’m thinking too…

    • Chris


      • Google Now doesn’t use local info. It only uses info stored on a Google Account, not something that’s on the phone itself, as some of these people say they have it.

  • Jose Hernandez

    They may have found a way to have this feature under Google Now. I can verify that it does perform a local search on the phone. Very nice to have it back.

  • tekmonkey

    FYI, shortcut to open Google Now. Hold the MENU button.

    • Craig

      Thank you for that! I was holding the HOME button then clicking the “g” when the Recent Apps screen appeared. Your way is quicker.

    • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

      right on

    • od312

      I prefer just tapping the google search bar. Much faster.

      • tekmonkey

        That works but most people dont like the Google search bar on their home screen. Plus the MENU button shortcut works in any application.

        • Chris

          Doesn’t work that way on the Note 2. Holding Menu mimics pressing a dedicated search key, so depending on what app you’re in, it does different things. I have to be on the home screen holding Menu to bring up google now. It’s kinda lame.

        • od312

          Didnt know it worked in any app. Good point!

    • GersonT1000

      I prefer using Nova Launcher and using a double finger swype down gesture!

  • Josue

    ismell another stupid lawsuit by crapple

    • I think they restored it because the verdict was overturned maybe? I’m not 100% sure but that may be the reason.

      • Josue

        hope so i hate when apple sues ppl for BS things

    • Chris

      The ban was already lifted because Google got a workaround a week after the ban was issued. You can find this article/google statement if you google it.

      That’s what allowed the GNexus to continue selling.

  • gpt2010

    I have done a few tests on my phone and it seems to work. Statements like “open gmail”, call “home” worked fine. Not sure how Samsung and Google are getting away with this since one of the major reasons for the lawsuit was local search. Either way. I am happy it is back.

    • Chris

      They are getting away with it because it’s not doing a “Siri” like search. That’s what the whole lawsuit is about.

      So technically, if you don’t do a siri like search, you would then be allowed to go on.

      Like Google said before, they found a work around and that lifted the ban.

  • vinterchaos

    Who cares, we’ve had content searches on OS since way before the iPhone did it. Hate this lawsuit garbage.

    • The people that were deprived of such privileges due to crapple’s non-sense

  • trickbiker121

    This has been put back in the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.2

  • bumrocky

    Actually, I have a manually 3rd party app, and it found it when I searched for it. They must have bypassed the patent, and found a loophole to do it using a new process.

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    I noticed this with the Jelly Bean update, I have been messing with all the new stuff since last night but I don’t like the fact that Now requires your location at all times when in use. I use the search function but I won’t be using Google Now, I’m a little sketchy about apps that say they always need my location. I keep my location off 99% of the time, I only use it when I’m using GPS out of town and I don’t know where I’m going, otherwise never. Big brother doesn’t need to be in my business any more than he already is lol

  • atari37

    I thought the universal search patent was invalidated but I’m not too sure. Can’t find it anywhere. The Bounce back patent was however invalidated and that might be what I was thinking of.

    Anyway, universal search was never removed on my Galaxy Nexus.

  • yvrcouve

    It doesn’t search for documents. :(

  • od312

    Is it me or do the blacks and deep colors seemed washed out after jellybean update??

  • Eric Eason

    Is there a reason why I wouldnt have recieved the update yet? Please respond. Thanks in advance

  • Guest

    Is there a reason why I wouldnt have recieved the update yet? Please respond. Thanks in advance

  • Abe_The_Babe

    David, I was happily surprised when I noticed that universal search was back. This update has been a great, my phone is faster than ever and universal search is back, I can’t ask for more.

  • got the update and am happy. really thought that holding down the menu button would have launched voice commands. this really helps a lot. oh well. maybe next time. i really used to like the search button on last years phones…..any chance google renews their license with microsoft to bring that back?

  • DP

    Did anyone notice that LTE was added to the network settings?

  • B.Sharp

    Searching for the new Jordan’s huh? Nice!

  • Don Zamifaro

    Apple wants to use this blog post to show the sentiment towards universal search. Sure, it’s a great feature, but I wouldn’t ditch Android just because it wasn’t there! What puzzles me is that universal search function has been around for yonks, so how this was even patented in the first place !?