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Update for Verizon’s Galaxy S3 Rolling Out Now, Dumbs Down On-device Search

The VRALG7 update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon that we first reported on Thursday, is available now to all handsets. To pull the update, all you have to do is head into Settings>About device>Software update and tap the “Check New” button.

The update fixes the “No SIM” issue that many of you were experiencing, improves Backup Assistant, makes NFC functionality more reliable, and includes Verizon’s Remote Diagnostics Tool.

Oh, we are also noticing that on-device search has now been broken, thanks to the never-ending patent battle between Samsung and Apple. If you try to search on your device for a contact or app, you are only greeted with internet results. Yeah, that’s a bit unfortunate.

Cheers Craig, Stephen and J Cole!

  • Um…. yes they did. Unavoidable update killed root and universal search. I had to flash back to rooted stock and install an OTA blocker. More here.


  • s0uth

    i barely received this update notification.

  • PPiDrive

    So, today I was forced the update. Since then, my text input and screen selector has gotten “fidgety” to say the least and hops around all over the place when browsing online or attempting to input. I also used to get a strong 4G signal and GPS signal in my home, and now neither work – I must go outside and into the street to get either. How can I revert to before this update?

    Also, universal search not working thanks to Apple? How can Apple have a patent that allows a device to search for and show you what’s on it? My computer does it and that came out before any apple mobile device. Another reason I dislike apple’s mobile products and won’t be getting one anytime soon. Just hoping for a way to ditch this update, or a search fix with JB.

  • PpiDrive

    I’m rooted and I was still forced to update and it still disabled universal search and I’ve seen no improvements so far, but it didn’t cause any issues with root. Now I’m kinda upset. And shouldn’t Google have search rights? I mean my computer can search what’s on it, do why in cell phones is Apple special and they only one who can actually search the contents of their device, that idea alone is asinine. Typing this, I’ve noticed the update had caused issues withtext and the screen/text input selector jumping around on it’s own. Anyone have a way to revert to before the update yet?

  • Cara

    Anyone else notice their clock app no longer working after the update? That means no timer for those who may actually use the timer. Ugh!

  • Detroit James

    it is forcing the phone to update itself… you can defer it over and over and over again, but eventually you will get sick of ‘deferring’ it and just give up

  • nick

    If VRALG7 update is still trying to force itself: Click ok on the update and if you have cwm installed, it will boot into cwm. Once in cwm, do not install, just back out and click on reboot system. Once you reboot a screen will pop up that says “Update Failed” and it wont ask you to update anymore. May have to do this 1-3 times, took me 2 i think.

  • Okay, so it’s been a couple of days and this definitely did not fix the “no sim” error. It did remove my universal search though. I called VZW and they denied my request to swap for a GNEX..

    • Brian A.

      It didn’t fix the “no sim” error on my phone either.

  • Wesley Pardue

    Just had it pushed to my Verizon S3 with no option to decline.

    • Dave S

      Same here was pissed…

  • Andrew N.

    Wrong; I woke up to find the software has self installed on my and my wife’s S3s. No option to delay or defer or reject. I’m not noticing any improvements … why not fix the wifi connectivity issues or the 3G to 4G switching issue I have called and complained about multiple times. It doesn’t surprise me, the sneaky updates; I wish I would have documented all the anomalies I’ve found up to and including the S-Voice voice change.

    • pcgeek2859

      Get an app called phone info and it will let you put it in 3G and leave it there unless you need to surf or download then you can just switch it back to 4g and it works perfect! Under devices pick CDMA auto PRL for 3G and back to Lte/CDMA/evdo for 4g.

  • Cutest_Tech_Chick

    Great update, guys. Breaks the GPS on many devices. Pictures losses on other devices. And some people are STILL getting the “no sim bug”. Removes app local searching.

    What a mess.

    • Detroit James

      Thank god verizon ‘tests’ these updates for months on end (JellyBean is available all over the world, but VZW delays it due to ‘testing’). Apparently their testing process is a bit faulty since every time they release a sw update some issues are addressed, but others arise far too often.

  • I save all my pictures to SD card, now they are all gone after the update. Anyone having a similar issue?

  • I don’t care if it infringes on Apples patent. Samsung needs to take responsibility for their phone. They sold me the device with those features. We paid for those features. Now they are removing features that we paid for. Class action lawsuit anyone?

  • Tim
    • Dave S

      Ohhhh I like this alot!!! Thanks!!!

  • contact search works fine for me as it did before the OTA. as for the app search goes.. that’s gone, but that can be replaced with launching apps verbally though S voice !

  • Haven’t gotten it on mine yet. “No new software updade available.” Still on VRLF2

  • LewisSD

    I’ll stick with the new aokp jb build 2 that was released yesterday.

  • I keep getting a message “service unavailable” when I check for update. Ideas?

  • jester4281

    Anyone else notice a drop in data signal or just me?

    • nope..no signal drop for me.. perhaps its your area?

  • hkklife

    Well, for me at least, backup assistant can no longer be disabled. Neither can the new remote diagnostics app. On a positive note, does anyone else feel that web page scrolling seems a tad smoother even with power-saving mode turned on?

    All in all, it’s a pretty uneventful update so far. Improved battery life and/or LTE radio performance were the only possible extras I would have hoped for on this update. I am still craving my JB fix!

  • Not doing it, I have mine rooted and unlocked. I rooted using the Odin method so I know if I rerooted it would loose the update at least the way I like doing it.

  • Chris_O

    Maybe it’s just my phone, but after the update, S-Voice sounds a little different. Haha has this happened to any of you guys?

    • Nlsme

      My S voice ladies accent changed weeks ago. There is thread where a lot of people had the same thing happen in the GS3 forum.

      • Chris_O

        Hmm, alright I will have to look into that. Thank you! ^_^

  • I see reject as an option… I wonder if you can actually reject it, and not get the three times then forced update like former VZW OTAs?

    Also, I wonder if rejecting it would inhibit future OTAs, like JB. That would suck.

    • DeathfireD

      “Defer” post pones the update for a later time (ie. you’ll get a popup at some point during the day reminding you that you have an update). Reject prevents the update from downloading and being applied. You can always get it by going to the
      Settings>About device>Software update though. If a future update is released and you hit reject on the last one, you “should” get a notification for for the new one.

  • Updated mine!!!

  • Alex

    This update does not affect boot loader. I locked installed it and unlocked again with no issue using ez unlock 🙂 hope this relieves some people

    • Thanks! I was searching this thread for anyone who had applied the update and you are the first to do so. You rock!

  • Michael_NM

    NFC more functional you say? Not without Google Wallet.

    Speaking of Google, they should own every patent dealing with search.

  • BTW, when you check for software updates, does everyone’s button say “Check New” instead of “Check Now”, like the older phones use too?

    • Cutest_Tech_Chick

      Wow. Someone at Samsung can’t speak well English.

  • I do not find this true at all, the search is not broken. Not only does it search and find my apps and contacts just fine, but with much greater accuracy than before.

  • Yerrright

    Fixed SIM issue?…we’ll see. Crippled search function…definitely? All the other “fixes” – did anyone care?

  • breaks root…but you can reroot..i did and it worked without issue.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    So yeah I have zero bias towards ios or android and my 4S is starting to bore me…can anyone tell me how good the radios are in the SGSIII?….I really need to upgrade to a men’s phone haha

    • Very good if the no sim issue is really fixed. i get great service in unaffected areas.

    • Just traded my 4S in for one yesterday, it’s absolutely amazing. The radios are great, had great signal so far.

    • Detroit James

      wifi is a little weak (have to be quite close to your router/access point) but I just installed the update, so maybe that addresses it. NO issues otherwise… I agree. iPhones are for people who don’t know how to use a smartphone. They are more ‘idiot proof’ if you will.. so many more things you can do on Android

      • Seroga

        There is a fix for this:

        Originally Posted by AeroSign

        I have had the phone 16 days now. First week was okay but this last week my WiFi has just been loosing connection like mad. All the time I had to toggle it to get it going after sleep. And even then it would loose connection multiple time pr minute.

        I found this post on XDA: xda-developers – View Single Post – SG3 Know Faults Thread http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=26987997&postcount=80

        Basically what user ‘Muskstick’ suggests is going into service mode (*#0011#), hit menu button, select wifi and disable the power save mode.

        It’s been working normally ever since 🙂

  • i’ll pass on the update.

  • Does anyone know if this update fixes the LED issue?

    • jason6g

      i have been using light flow for all my LED needs – i hated the default samsung gave, light flow makes it awesome 😀

      • light flow doesnt work for the vzw s3 so im not sure who you’re trying to fool buddy .. even the creators of light flow have addressed the issue that it is not ready yet to work on the verizon s3 !

        • jason6g

          Lol it works on mine… Verizon s3 no faults. They did update it a little while ago…

          • The default color grid on the device is hosed. FB should be Blue blinking notifications, messages should be blinking Green,etc they are all scrambled in all US S3’s…you get Red FB notifies, solid white/green msg notifies, etc…they code is all screwed up.

            That said…does anyone know f this one got fixed, seems like it should be a low-hanging fruit for them?

          • Cutest_Tech_Chick

            I’m still trying to figure out what an FB is.

          • FB = Facebook, their notifications are programmed to be blue but due to the broken color rule set on the S3 they are red. Almost all colors and blink rates are incorrect.

          • Like he said, the dev imported US sgs3 and has it working… for full benefits need root.

        • droid

          Actually it does work buddy I have it and it work just fine on verizon

  • yeeeaah .. im gonna have to pass on this update .. thanx but no thanx !

  • TD

    Can you still unlock the bootloader once you have this update?

    • Mike_Cook7

      I heard this blocks unlocking the bootloader but have not tested it myself yet.

    • TD


      According to this guy you can still unlock. Good news so far

    • Buy This

      So I can buy the Verizon version subsidized and still unlock the bootloader correct? (assuming the answer to your question in yes) I am in the unique position of paying less if I get rid of unlimited data. I figure the prices on this will be slashed by the time my upgrade rolls around and it seems like if I don’t have much money this will be my phone of choice. Can anyone with the white version comment on fading and wear. I am pretty nervous about samsung build quality, not to mention going back to a hardware button.

  • Still getting ‘service unavailable’ even though it’s available. Still yet to find a fix.

    • Anyone else been having this issue at all?

      • djjaeger82

        Just installed the update and I’m still getting the No SIM error. Looks like nothing was fixed at all in this update! GRRR

    • OhAaron

      Me too!

  • chris125

    I’ll stick with my root and unlocked device and wait until dev’s put the good parts of this into their roms.

  • “Enhancements and improvements” lol

    • FIxing the no sim is certainly an improvement. Since the day this phone launched I haven’t had the ability to send a text or make a call from my home, and this is the only phone I have…

      • Michael_NM

        Are you sure you’re not on AT&T? 😀

  • triangle8

    Screw that. This is why I need to root and ROM this thing.

    • It’s very easy u should go a head and do it. I recommend Beans touchwiz Rom

  • Mine is still returning “No new software update available”. I really need this, my phone is useless for most of the day thanks to no sim.