I Lose A Really Useful Android Feature And Sprint And Samsung Pass The Buck

We often hear from users of various Android smartphones complaining that their carrier or their phone manufacturer is keeping them away from the latest version of the operating system. Mark’s problem is sort of the opposite of that. He has the very newest release, Jelly Bean, but was horrified to discover that a feature he finds very useful at work was quietly discontinued. He can’t get an answer out of Samsung or his carrier, Sprint, about who decided to remove this feature or why. He just gets sent back and forth between companies.

Mark explains:

I had a Samsung Galaxy S III phone for quite a while and really enjoyed the experience. Like all other Android fans, I anxiously awaiting the update to the latest “Jelly Bean” release and quickly installed it when it was pushed to me over-the-air by Sprint.

One of the greatest features of the GS3 (and all Android phones) is the Internet calling feature that allows you to attach your phone to your company’s SIP-compatible phone system and use your cell phone like your office extension for incoming and outgoing calls. The feature can clearly be seen on page 68 of the Galaxy S III (Sprint version) manual. I was amazed to discover that the feature was missing after the update. I searched around every menu on my phone (since I am well aware that sometimes features have a way of moving after updates) but Internet Calling was nowhere to be found so I reached out to Samsung.

I spoke to Samsung Support on Google+ and they were very helpful and responsive to my questions. Unfortunately, they could not explain to me why the Samsung-created software update to my Samsung phone no longer contained the Internet Calling feature as demonstrated in the manual. All they could tell me was that Sprint no longer supports it and I should talk to Sprint. Confused as to why Sprint would want a wi-fi only feature removed from my phone, I wrapped up my conversation with Samsung and moved on to Sprint.

I sent a quick Twitter message over to @sprintcare and after leaving me hanging the first time I reached out, they finally tried to help me but were only able to say “no info on why” and blamed the “Google update”. Yet for some reason, I have plenty of friends who have non-GS3 Jelly Bean devices on Sprint that have the feature still.

I’m not sure who told Sprint that it was ok to take features away from devices after customer purchase with no rationale but I find it to be quite ridiculous.

I just wish someone would take responsibility and say “Yes, it was my decision and this is why.” or give me my feature back.

It’s very unlikely that Mark will ever get a call or even a tweet from someone at Sprint, at Samsung, or even at Google who will admit to being the one who made that decision.