Beware of Phone Makers Bearing Updates

So I have a new phone. The sleek Samsung Galaxy IIIS. It is a nice phone. It runs the latest public version of Google’s Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone is fast, very functional, and a joy to use after my prior junkware laden HTC Evo.

The mobile carrier is Sprint. I like Sprint for the most part. The attraction was their unlimited data plan, but that’s another discussion for another day. I did a jailbreak on the Evo to get rid of Sprint’s asshatted Nascar app and other memory hogging, undeletable pieces of junk inflicted by the marketing morons, and from then on was on my own with Cyanogen. I was happy to see the new Sprint install was basically unjunked and as close to pure ICS as one could get.

Yesterday my Google News page had a link to a story that Sprint was sending out a software update to Galaxy IIIS owners which would disable the “universal search” functionality delivered through the Google search widget on the home screen. This means a search doesn’t hit just the Web, but also looks locally on the phone at contacts, documents, etc. I like this feature very much.  It spare me from going to two functions to perform searches and makes things a lot more convenient.

So why is Sprint disabling the function? Because Apple is suing Samsung and Google for patent infringement, claiming the universal search function on a phone is its idea and its alone. While the parties duke it out in court, Google or Samsung or Sprint — who knows and who cares — decided to remove the function, which means if I accept and install the pending “software update” sitting on my phone, I’ll basically make it less of a phone.

What pisses me off is the complete lack of communication from Sprint, Samsung or Google that they are going to croak a function on my phone. There’s no email. There’s no warning or explanation. Instead I get this bullshit, mislabeled as a “fix” which does nothing to reveal the surprise inside. Indeed, according to a story at the Android Authority, which refers to the disabling code as an “easter egg”, the software update is being sent out to unsuspecting Galaxy owners at Samsung’s request. The “fix” comes with absolutely no description of what it purports to fix.

My feelings about Apple? Jobs did vowed to kill Android so the Samsung lawsuit is a big one. This latest move is what I expect from Apple, along with, high prices, DRM, irrational fans, discrimination against Persians, design porn, multiple failures in the cloud …..

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

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