updated 05:10 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Verizon says Fascinate 2.2 to give Google download
The absence of Google search on the Samsung Fascinate will be fixed when the phone gets Android 2.2, Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told Electronista today. She asserted it was an "incorrect assumption" that Verizon had blocked the app and that it was allegedly only available once a given phone was upgraded to 2.2. She also pointed out that Google wasn't entirely blocked, as voice search still used Google Maps.
"Google is responsible for what is in [Android Market]," she claimed, adding in a follow-up statement that "we're not blocking anything."
The update may provide some relief for those that didn't want to be forced into using Bing but didn't fully explain why certain features weren't available or couldn't be installed after the fact. Electronista is currently pressing for clarification on features such as the main Google search widget, which has been present since Android launched in 2008. Verizon's point of view may still ease some of the complaints that it had not only made Bing the default on a Google OS but had contradicted the openness of Android by denying a choice of engines.
Other Android phones have been defaulted to other search engines, such as the Motorola Backflip's use of Yahoo at AT&T. Of modern mobile devices, the iPhone has unusually been one of the most search-agnostic platforms; it defaults to Google despite competition with Android and has options for both Bing and Yahoo.