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Verizon Galaxy S3 Receiving Update to VRLG1, Includes New Kernel and Dumbed Down Search


If you are having issues with your Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon, and take it in for a replacement, you will receive a unit that has been updated with new software I535VRLG1 (left screenshot). The update includes a new kernel, but more importantly, we are hearing that it dumbs down the search functionality of your phone, meaning it can only do internet searches going forward.

As you are all aware, Samsung is in a heated battle with Apple over on-device searches and has begun dumbing it down (no more contact, app, etc. searches) on the Galaxy S3 to avoid any import bans. We have already seen them do this on the AT&T and Sprint versions, but it appears as if Verizon’s is next.

We haven’t heard when this update will rollout to current Galaxy S3 owners that purchased theirs during launch week, but you have to assume that it will be soon. This latest shipment probably has the update to potentially avoid being banned. It’s an unfortunate situation.

Cheers Bill!

  • Glen

    Can you root after the update? Just had to get replacement from Asurion for Non-traumatic (read babied, cased, and never dropped) cracked screen.

    Box and phone appear new–no Good As New label. But small label pasted on top of the screen has single word–“updated”.

    I hope that this just refers to the small but significant update being pushed ota. Can phone be rooted still after update?

  • Jenn Sterger

    This update fixed the Wifi connectivity issues I was having with my S3 pre-order. Users with the ATT version who had the same issues mentioned their connectivity issues were fixed with this update as well.

  • Allen Byrd

    If I had a Galaxy S3, I’d accept the update. I don’t give a crap about universal search, lol.

    • JazzoRenee

      I usually open the browser to search, I already know where everything else is on my phone.

  • Just bought my SGS3 today from a local corp store, did not receive an updated version. Honestly I don’t use the on-device search feature anyhow. I prefer the search to show me web results. If I want a contact I’ll open that app instead of going to search.

  • Nght12

    If it says update on the box it has been done. Happened to me when I bought mine yesterday

  • aronayne

    So will S Voice still search for songs or is this just related to the Google search bar?

  • necrocis

    Both of my phones have universal search, my S3 and my BlackBerry 9930. BlackBerry has had this feature for close to ten years. When is the update rolling out for my 9930?

  • TheOne1

    Hey guys, so many of the unlocked bootloader OTA update rumors have been dispelled and disregarded, BUT I bought my verizon Galaxy S3 yesterday (July 20) at my local vzw store and the manager there said there was indeed an update on its way that will unlock the bootlader. My instincts tell me he is full of s**t; however, I am still optimistic. Maybe he meant they (verizon or samsung?) will release something that wont directly unlock it but will enable hackers to have an easier time figuring it out, like revealing part of the encryption key or something of the like. Just tryin to stay positive, i admit 99% sure it will never happen though

    • Droosh

      He’s confused. There will be an update to “unlock” global roaming capabilities of the radios.

  • MicroNix

    We need to form the million geek march on the USPTO and protest their use of technology challenged lackies that keep granting this crap. It can’t go on. Period.

  • Julian Coronado

    I got my Galaxy S3 20 minutes ago and I’m in love. I think I got the updated version.

  • JoeyKhache

    Weird how tmobile’s galaxy is the only one who hasn’t had this update pushed out to them.

  • Comm123

    Wait, so only Samsung phone have dumbed down search, and other phones don’t? It’s confusing. Why is Apple only going after Samsung?

    But either way, screw Apple. Also, I am so glad I use custom roms only 😀

    • digitalicecream

      Because Samsung is kicking their ass globally. Also, if they can set precedence, then the rest will follow.

  • Is there a different radio in the update, anyone else notice that the baseband version changed or is that because one phone is on wifi and one phone is on 4g lte?

  • Is there any word on whether or not this update fixes the LED issue, or the “calendar alert hanging up the phone” issue?

  • nightscout13

    anyone know if the Kernel has positive changes?

  • The Dude

    As long as Apple has judges in their pocket (e.g. Judge Koh who blindly favors Apple on every single issue) as well as the USPTO (who will grant any Apple patent no matter how ridiculous) they can do what they want. All the billions they make are being well spent – not on product innovation, definitely not on charity, but buying lobbyists and verdicts.

  • yos21

    So this doesn’t fix the “No SIM” problem. WTF are they doing over in Korea. And why is no blog reporting and this crappy signal/sim issue on the Verizon S3s?

    • alby91a

      Nope./ I dont know/ I just started to see some discussion the past couple days. I have been looking for answers since July 9 and it is just now starting to be talked about. Out of 5 tech support calls yesterday was the first time VZW told me they were starting to see the same complaint as i had.

    • chris125

      Doesn’t happen to my sgs.

  • gimlet72

    My first phone was messed up so I had to send it back. I just saw my new phone has the new version. It can still be rooted though so thats good.

    • Caleb Shahamat

      Can you share a link for rooting?

      • gimlet72

        This is one pulled from XDA that I used but I am sure there are others out there

        • Caleb Shahamat

          oh cool! So you just followed the same directions for getting root and getting a custom recovery? Which recovery did you install?

          • gimlet72

            I just rooted. I have stock ROM

  • Guest

    Quick question (should probably be added to the article): how can I prevent this update?

  • tim

    I owned an S3 until I found out that the stupid signal loss reared its ugly head again. The phone would completely drop all data and phone connection in certain locations that are strong 4G areas here in Austin, TX. Any one else have this problem or know if this updated version of the Galaxy software fixes the problem?

    • alby91a

      It didn’t change anything for me. they sent me a new phone with update already installed..

    • evul

      Tim I am having the same issue on lay galaxy nexus here in Ohio. Please contact me so we can talk about this and maybe figure out the issue. Email me, evulhotdog at gmail

    • Asuriyan

      I have had 6 different Verizon LTE phones from 3 manufacturers and all of them have had this issue. Probably won’t be resolved until they phase out CDMA altogether in favor of LTE-Advanced.


    To honest I’m not mad at apple 4 trying to get the patent. I am mad at the ass clowns who let them.

    • digitalicecream

      Will you vote them into/out of office?

      • J Dub

        You vote people into jobs at the USPTO??? When did that happen?

    • Be mad at google for their arrogant copying. That’s why Microsoft, apple, and oracle are taking them to the cleaners.

      • OhAaron

        I hope you are kidding. Google humiliated Oracle in court.

      • Allen Byrd

        Troll harder.

      • Monkey See Monkey Sue

        Apple forced to post public apology on website.

        Apple Inc.
        (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not been very successful with its previous
        infringement claims either. The ruling of the California judge marks the
        only favorable judgment for Apple. The company has previously lost
        cases against Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI), an acquisiton of Google and HTC, which uses the Android OS in its smartphones.

  • I’m rooted so won’t be accepting this update until you nice folks here at Droid-life let us know the repercussions of it.

  • So let me get this straight.. the king of all search, Google, cannot search their own phones because apple thinks they get the right and the only right to do it? iDisgusted

  • DeathfireD

    How is this apples fault? Sounds more like Samsung wants us all to use their stupid siri knock off. They’re getting ready for the new search in Android 4.1.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      what? do you not keep up on the Android news? It’s Apple’s “fault” as they claim that is a patented function they own so Samsung has to remove it. And this is happening across all carriers, Sprint and ATT got the same update.

      This is zero, nothing, nada, zilch to do with Samsng pushing their S Voice Siri competitor.

      • DeathfireD

        Really? Because if I’m not mistaken S Voice searches your phone book, internet, and apps too. Tell it to call a contact or search for something. It lists our contacts for you and asks which to call. Same with apps.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    I care WAy more abut the kernel change than universal search. What is the kernel change about as I would not think that would have to be altered to address the universal search.

    • Droosh

      This needs to be investigated. Is performance or battery life improved with the new kernel? Did they manage to close some of the methods of hijacking and replacing the Kernel and ROM?

      Also, what is different about the baseband. Is this an improved radio? Did this baseband unlock more global frequencies?

  • Oh noes! The sky is falling!

    /Apple can lick my sweaty bunghole. I will never ever buy even a single solitary one of their products no matter how over-hyped it is and no matter how deftly they and their parasitic lawyers strong arm the rest of the free world.

    • J Dub

      Agreed. I won an iPad through my work place last year. Still sold it to get an Android tab. Not using their crap even if given to me.

  • alby91a

    I received a replacement yesterday with updated software and I am still having the same issues as before!

    • FortitudineVincimus

      which are?

      • alby91a

        Signal completely drops out and No SIM flashes in notification bar. lock screen has a message that says No SIM emergency calls only. This happens sometimes in strong 4g signal area and sometimes in weak areas. This has been happening since i got the phone on july 9th. I have tried new SIM and new device, VZW 2nd leve tech support has no answer for me, but they extended my worry free guarantee. I hope they get it straightened out. I love everything else about the GS3!

  • PC_Tool

    I never used that feature pre Google-Now anyway, so I highly doubt my wife will miss it on her SIII. Hopefully the new kernel doesn’t mess anything up. So far she has had *zero* complaints about it.

  • nhizzat

    I told my sister to not accept the OTA

  • zepfloyd

    I wouldn’t accept this if you’re rooted.

  • Wonder how long before the functionality gets added back in through custom roms or patches?

  • Steve Tu

    IIRC, OTA’s aren’t applied until you accept them. I for one will not be accepting this one, as it may ruin the party in terms of all the hacks, rooting methods, etc that we’ve all seen pop up lately.

  • deslotnick

    What problems? I’m having call quality problems, wasn’t sure if it was the phone or verizon.

  • Guy

    Kellex, please post methods on how to prevent this update from hitting our phones.

    • zepfloyd

      if you’re rooted use Titanium backup to freeze FWUpgrader.apk

    • digitalicecream

      XDA has a fix, and for the rooted a .zip file to install via CWM.

    • balthuszar

      wouldnt declining the update work? or did i read somewhere that you can only decline an update so many times before it just automatically does it?

      • Tyler Chappell

        It wouldnt surprised me if that were true. A year ago, I declined an update that Verizon kept pushing to my damn Thunderbolt. I was rooted with stock software. I declined the OTA numerous times, but then while I was sleeping, it would auto-accept it and it got my phone stuck in a bootloop. If it wasn’t for the ROM Manager backups I had made, I would have been screwed. Because as soon as my phone would reboot, I would have just a few seconds before it would auto-shutoff and try to force the update. Pissed me off like none other.
        Moving to a custom ROM solved my problem.

  • tony

    No app to sd card on this update

    • hkklife

      That is, ahem, a “limitation” of ICS (and Honeycomb and Jellybean). GB was the last version of Android to officially allow apps to be installed to SD cards.

  • I don’t even know when the last time I searched for anything that wasn’t on the internet.

    • digitalicecream

      the thing is, this may impact how google now searches your own phone in the future.

  • slops

    what kind of issues? mine seems to get stuff switching from 4g to 3g (like the bionic) but i don’t know if that’s going to be fixed with the new version.

    • BSweetness

      The article says “if you are having issues.” It’s not saying that this update fixes any specific issues beyond legal ones (although the new kernal could easily address other things), but rather that if a person has an issue, they’re likely to get a replacement device that has the new update already loaded.

      • Aardvark99

        I’m still going to pretend that this update will fix all the issues I’ve seen. Also, it’s Jelly Bean.

  • Honestly this has gone way too far. Google needs to seriously step in and start pushing back. I understand that the OEM’s make a bunch of changes to Android but search is all Google. It’s time for Google to make Apple confront them head on instead of suing the OEM’s over basic Android functions

    • Trueblue711

      Agreed. I still feel like Google has something up their sleeves though.. they can’t just be watching the show.

      • David

        I agree, I honestly feel google is about to lay it on them as well. It seriously has gotten to far. It just “feels” like something is going to happen soon to put apple in there place, be it by google or the court system saying “screw you this is bs get out of my court room” or something else.. I don’t know what it’ll be. But.. yeah i feel something is going to happen.. and soon.

    • You think google hasn’t tried? That’s what happens when you knowingly copy others patents.

      • Monkey See Monkey Sue

        Wow are you a paid Apple shill or just a typical iPhone user? Who has “knowingly” copied patents??? Software Engineering is about innovation and solving problems. Apple has been a proven whiner and liar when it comes to patent infringement. They have lost several times on their claims and with the latest loss were ordered to post a public apology to SamSung on their website.


        Apple Inc.
        (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not been very successful with its previous
        infringement claims either. The ruling of the California judge marks the
        only favorable judgment for Apple. The company has previously lost
        cases against Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI), an acquisiton of Google and HTC, which uses the Android OS in its smartphones.

  • Commando4231

    I love how the only updates VZW gets through quickly is to make the phone worse. Even they are later than ATT.
    I need to root and block this asap.

  • Muddy B00ts

    Well, I only want a phone with universal search. So I guess it’s an i*hone for me. Good job, Apple. It worked.


    • 8 people missed your /sarcasm tag.


      • FortitudineVincimus

        no, just tards hating to hate. watch, I will get down arrows also

  • Buckethead

    How can I stop this update from rolling out to my phone (assuming it’s going to eventually)?

    • tyguy829

      if you put a custom rom on, you won’t get updates.

  • leo

    Scumbag apple

    • How horrible that Apple protects their patents just as Samsung and google do.

      • Monkey See Monkey Sue

        Actually it’s Apple competing through law suits rather than through innovation. The idea that a company can patent functionality of a search simply because it’s searching the device rather than the Internet is ridiculous but Apple being threatened by competition will sue.

        • Guest__Comment

          Apple legally patented that technology. Like it or not, they did. And they have every right to defend it.

          How would like to hold a million dollar patent… and then sit by and watch others steal it. (Actually, you probably WOULD allow it.)

          I definitely would not.

          • guest

            but it is not technology , it is an idea and a rather obvious one that a program can search more then one place without having to change interfaces

          • Jon

            Apple patents technologies that they didn’t even invent or start… They’re just a bunch of manipulative assholes…. Funny how Google filed a patent for the notification bar that IOS now uses, but the FCC is taking their sweet ass time on that one. Do I even need to point out the irony?

      • Monkey See Monkey Sue

        Apple Inc.
        (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not been very successful with its previous
        infringement claims either. The ruling of the California judge marks the
        only favorable judgment for Apple. The company has previously lost
        cases against Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI), an acquisiton of Google and HTC, which uses the Android OS in its smartphones.

  • Because searching on the device you are entering your search should TOTALLY be a patent…it’s innovative, and even magical. And should be protected.

    • summit1986

      sarcasm disclaimer

      • michael arazan

        The Bible says God Created the Heaven and Earth and all things on it, Apple is suing God because they patented it first, even though it wasn’t their idea.

        • MicroNix

          I wonder if Jobs is trying to sue God in a wrongful death case?

          • Guest__Comment

            > I wonder if Jobs is trying to sue God in a wrongful death case?

            That’s pretty disgusting.

        • stewie

          And you know what happened in eden when apple came into play…

    • AlexKCMO

      Well, Apple invented search after all…. and PCs, and Windows, and phones, and the wired phone, and electricity, and battery powered mobile devices, and touch screens, and mp3 players, and music… without Apple we’d still be living like cavemen. They have a right to protect their creations.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    FYI: Its going to get a lot worse before it gets better
    Forget universal search, what about Apple patenting everything to do with multi-touch screens?

  • AbbieRosario

    What do you mean by dumbed down?

    • Southrncomfortjm

      Searches can no longer search the internet and the phone at the same time.

      • Exactly. Your phone will now only search the internet, not your contacts or apps or anything else on the phone.

        • Southrncomfortjm

          Thing I don’t know is whether it can do one or the other (internet or phone) just not both at the same time. I’m wondering if you could say “Search internet for…” or “search phone for…” Same basic functionality, but the search is no longer universal.

        • nightscout13

          WOW, i thought Android had that feature before iOS did…..

          • mostlydigital

            they might have – it’s just that they patent everything and then may or may not implement. Sometimes (many) years later. But that patent is still there.