If you're a Sprint customer using a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone, there's plenty of blame to go around for why your universal search feature is now broken, provided you installed the latest security update. You can blame Apple, which holds U.S. patent number 8,086,604 related to "using a plurality of heuristic algorithms" to search multiple locations at once. You can blame U.S. patent law and hate the game, not the player. Samsung and its legal team deserve a bit of scorn for not putting together a better legal defense, and Sprint gets some blame for not making it clear that Galaxy SIII owners were about to lose their 'Quick Search' feature by installing the latest update.
Wherever you decide to place the blame, the end result is the same. Samsung Galaxy SIII owners who installed the recent update screwed themselves out of the ability to search through contacts, apps, and the Web all at the same time, according to user complaints on Android Central's forums.
"If you got used to this feature, it's a pain in the butt to lose it, especially if you want to search contacts. You have to go into contacts, then search, versus just using the global search," forum user 'eyecon82' posted.
Fortunately for other users in the same boat, eyecon82 didn't just post to complain about the update, he provided a solution by way of an Android Application Package (APK). We haven't tested this ourselves, but based on user comments, the GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk file he links to effectively restores the universal search function after applying Sprint's latest update.
As always, be extra cautious when installing software outside of official markets like Google Play and Amazon's App Store.