Mar 01 AT 8:11 PM Taylor Wimberly 82 Comments

AT&T removes Google search from Android in favor of Yahoo

Next week, AT&T customers will finally be able to purchase their first Android phone, but the carrier has decided to remove one of the most used features of Google’s operating system. AT&T went out of their way to replace Google search with Yahoo.

The news came from a hands on report of the Motorola Backflip.

“Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search provider throughout the phone. It’s crazy: the home screen widget, the browser, everything’s been programmed to use Yahoo.”Chris ZieglerEngadget

Early rumors suggested AT&T might try and remove some of Google’s native Android apps too, but those are included with the Backflip. Also included is a ton of AT&T apps including AllSport GPS, AT&T Maps, AT&T Music (which takes the place of the standard Music app), AT&T Navigator, AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots, Mobile Banking, MobiTV, MusicID, Where, and YPmobile.

The Motorola Backflip goes on sale March 7th, 2010 for $99 on 2 year contract. With AT&T set to launch at least five Android phones in the near future, we suggest you pass on the Backflip and wait to see what else they have in store.

Source: Engadget

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Joseph Allen

    That is such a fail it’s not even funny.

  • http://Website Mike

    I’m going to have to go into the store next week and see how bad they hosed up Android.

  • http://Website charrion

    And seeing how it’s a Motorola it probably won’t even be rootable or moddable.

    • http://Website milrtime83

      Odd comment, as the Droid is also a Motorola device and is very rootable and modable.

  • http://Website Jason

    Wow….AT&T just lost ALOT of sales from that….. yay!

  • http://Website Jack


  • Android_Kev

    Haha, didnt plan on ever going to at&t anyway, but sure as hell not going to now. Why mess with a great thing. Android and Google go together.

  • http://Website MaggieL

    Makes me glad my Android phone wasn’t supplied by AT&T. Yahoo Search? ORLY…

    Carriers need to understand that their customers aren’t something to be sold to the highest bidder. It’s crap like this that tempts GOOG to enter the market themselves.

  • Phone Freek

    I’d like to take a dump on AT&Ts chest.

    • http://Website Ms. Matrix

      LMAO!!! I’m cracking up so hard right now. Classic post :)

  • Dave H.

    Yahoo still offers search?

    That better be configurable – might as well root the phone.

    • http://Website Cesar

      It’s a motorola device. Good luck getting anything good out of a root on that POS.

  • http://Website Cesar

    LMAO! Good luck with the sales AT&T!

    It’s still hilarious, the very fact, that they’re running the Android by Google OS.

    God, I feel like getting an iPhone and wiping my ass with it.

    It’s okay. This will just give T-Mobile a leg up in the competition.

    Good job AT&T!!! Making the job at T-Mobile that much easier!

    • http://Website Drybones5

      AT&T owns Yahoo. That’s probably why

  • http://Website alamoe

    sounds like apple has got at&t in their back pocket. it’s been said before but now it’s coming to the light

    • http://Website Solrac924

      so true. now i’m reluctant on getting the Nexus One on AT&T. who knows how they’d screw with that. they may intentionally sabotage the network connection…possibly block it so that Google Voice couldn’t be used.
      it’s a safer to get the Verizon version instead.

      • http://Website Danny

        “it’s a safer to get the Verizon version instead.”

        only if you’ve already sold your soul to Verizon. Otherwise, if T-Mobile service is good in your area, go with T-Mobile.

        • http://Website Your Mom

          Without a single bit of explanation, your statement appears as completely unfounded opinion. Care to try again?

          • http://Website droidwolf

            i agree. i had verizon and the screwed me good. told me all kinds of things that turned out to be fales but any how i have t-mobile and love it. cliq user.

        • Wardell

          the Nexus One is Google branded, like the Driod which means it’ll always be sold with stock Android no matter who the carrier is.

  • http://Website Brian Douglas Hayes

    Well, at least it’s not Bing, right?

    • http://Website Usman

      You didn’t hear the news last week? Bing and Yahoo! are practically merging… it was big news in the tech world as it’s seen as a direct attempt at trying to catch up to Google, however unlikely. Google it yourself for more info. ;)

      • vkelman

        Bing and Yahoo! search are not merging. Instead, Yahoo! agrees to give up on their search in favor of Bing, while MS supports Yahoo! social features (which are way better than that crazy Windows Live.)

        • http://Website Usman

          So the net result is that by searching through “Yahoo”, you’re really using Bing!, right?

    • vkelman

      Bing is for sure much better than Yahoo! search; Bing is actually close to Google Search in terms of functionality. MS successfully copied it.

  • http://Website Cybersedan

    Very interesting… unfortunately the masses from which the eventual purchasers of this phone will come have no clue.

    You gotta wonder their motives, is this to appease Apple in some shifty way? Why would you get an android phone and remove google search and other native apps from it, it’s like if Verizon got an iPhone that doesn’t sync with iTunes.

    • http://Website Kevin Criswell

      Dead on. ATT can run this striped down phone, not make Apple mad and prove to their customers that the Iphone is a better purchase (when we know it is not).

  • http://Website GadgetsMan

    WOW, That’s just stupid. Good luck selling that paperweight.

  • http://Website Terrell

    Oh boy… I applaud you AT&T. That has to be the greatest looking dump the world has seen yet. And packaging it with yahoo… Did you really go that route??? Android + Google is how it’s supposed to be.

  • http://Website Mark

    They never learn, they did the exact same thing on the Palm Treo’s. I am waiting for the Nexus One from Google direct, I have had it with ATT doing this crap.

    • http://Website Usman

      If you’re a current AT&T customer, the only way to make the point to them is call, cancel your service with them, and explain why you’re doing so. The only thing companies understand is $$, so “vote” with yours man.

  • http://Website Solrac924

    to hell with that. Google has all the best services so why would i get a phone without it? what a dumb mistake they made.
    i was thinking of getting this for my wife but forget it now. gonna go to Verizon & get my wife the Eris instead.
    what’s next? crippile it so that it drops one out of 5 calls? oh wait, the iPhone on AT&T already has that feature.

  • http://Website Paul Kim

    wasnt yahoo’s search bought by microsoft to enhance their bing?

  • Sean Riley

    AT&T, you’re getting 5 new Android phones, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.

  • Dean Williams

    This is shaping up to be an AMAZING showdown!

  • Zacqary Adam Green

    Coming soon to the Android Market…the Google Search widget!

    • Erick.G

      To bad that phone probably wont come with the market

  • Jonathan Frederickson

    Looks like Yahoo is starting to take customers away from Google for one simple reason – they pay better. First Canonical, now AT&T…

  • http://Website The_Omega_Man

    This had to be an at&t decision not a Motorola decision, unless it was dictated to them by at&t. This Yahoo Search thing has a rotten Apple smell to it. It only helps to fragment the Google phone market even more. Which Apple will use in it’s marketing efforts…Mark My Words!

  • vkelman

    I think it’s absolutely crazy: who’s using Yahoo! search these days? (Even Bing is much better.) And especially on Android (i.e. Google) device.
    They said “the default search provider”. Unless it is easy to re-set search provider to Google, I will not buy this phone and would urge everyone not to buy it.

    “Also included is a ton of AT&T apps including AllSport GPS, AT&T Maps, AT&T Music (which takes the place of the standard Music app), AT&T Navigator, AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots, Mobile Banking, MobiTV, MusicID, Where, and YPmobile.”
    And who needs those crappy AT&T applications! Give us back Google Maps with navigation support!

    I’d be so happy if something like Nexus One would be available (with 3G) on AT&T!

  • Killa

    Idiots! Google IS Android! Now along with the iPhone that gives me another reason not to like them. Way to go AT&T, you just lost a TON of sales.

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  • http://Website idk

    That’s like android market without Apps. That’s like having winnow run on a touchscreenless phone in black and white. Straight up POS

  • http://Website mihaelb

    Wow! what a great idea! That just inspired me to replace my fuel injection with a carburetor!

  • http://Website nicknowsky

    dude, thats a bad analogy, most car guys will tell you they’d rather HAVE a carbed engine, than fuel injection, anyways, I dunno how this yahoo thing is even possible, being a ANDROID is Google based

  • Manly Man

    Another Epic Loss For At&t!

  • Manly Man

    Yup At&t wont be around in 5 years! Matter of fact If cricket gets an android phone ….. Cricket>>>>>at&t!

    I mean damn, at&t cant do nothing right! Yahoo really!

  • Stefing

    AT&T once again show themselves up as utter ‘tards.
    And Google are the wrong people to pick a fight with!

  • Manly Man

    Well at least we know what phone wont be getting an update no time soon!

  • http://Website miltk


  • http://Website Bob

    Makes the decision to NOT get the backflip easy now. What a stupid thing to do.

  • Jr.

    Wow!!! I havnt beeen on here in a whille but when I saw this post I had to come and say how stupid att is right now. How are you going to release a google based phone with no google! That’s outrages. I was happy to see att finally step up 2 the android world but after this screwup I wish att dint dey should just stay with their ugly iphone and. Leave android for the smart wiereless companies tmobile and vrizon ps. I hate vrizon and am I tmobile customer =]

  • http://Website droidwolf

    First off the back flip is ugly and a wanna be moto cliq why do that motorola why put a keybored on the back of a phone where is can get messed up when its set on a table. Second att can eat it I’m not even calling this an android phone.

  • http://Website Phil

    In order for a mobile platform to be successful, manufacturers and operators must be able to differentiate their offerings. Otherwise, you have a single vendor solution like the iPhone.

    It needs to be clear what are core OS services, and what services can be omitted, replaced or extended in the OS. This is particularly a challenge for Open Source and Android. There is no reason that Android should be synonymous with Google services.

    User’s need to decide… do you want an open mobile platform that encourages innovation, or do you want a Google phone?

    I’m not sure even Google knows which way they want to go. They’d do well to follow Symbian’s example, where there is a clear definition of core platform services, and an open process for evolving that definition.

    If what you want is a Google phone…. buy a Google-branded phone.

  • http://Website Roger Shumate

    Google is screwed! All the carriers will follow suit. Google will eventually have to pay to be included as default on Android phones sold by anyone other than Google. Open source rules!

  • http://Website Matt

    I have to laugh at the whole bunch of you! Do you really know that little about AT&T? They are practically joined at the hip with Yahoo for all things internet. If you sign up for AT&T DSL who do you think powers the default home page? Yahoo does, that’s who. Check out the rest of AT&T’s phones (besides the iPhone), who do you think might be the default search provider on those phones? I bet it is Yahoo.

    This move from AT&T should come as no surprise whatsoever to anyone who know anything about how AT&T works.

    • http://Website The_Omega_Man

      Part of the strength and appeal of the Android Mobile system is the integrated Google Search capabilities and the Google application integration features within the system.

      So, does this mean that you have to have a Yahoo mail (instead of a G-Mail account) to activate this phone, too?

      Open source typically means choices. So, do at&t customers have a choice on there mobile search provider for this phone?

      Better question, is at&t going to replace Google search on ALL of it’s Android based devices that it plans to promote this year (including the Dell Mini 5), based upon this Yahoo partnership that you mention?

  • http://Website John

    You should try Yahoo mobile search, it is actually quite good:


    • http://YoushouldtryAOL,it'sactuallyquitegood... Morely Dotes

      …if what you want is inferior searches, intrusive software that crashes a lot, and a walled garden that prevents you from exercising your own judgement.

      Just like Yahoo, actually.

  • Christiaan Conover

    Of course AT&T wanted to severely hamper or remove the appeal of the other major line of smartphones with large data consumption potential. They can’t even aqequately provide service for the iPhone customers, why would they really want to put even further strain on their network? Besides, they’re just an extension of iPhone at this point anyway, so it just makes sense.

  • http://Website abi

    wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww leave it to AT&T to mess up android. i new they would pull somthing dumb. owell thats all on them they will learn

  • http://Hey,it'sAT&T Morely Dotes

    You didn’t expect them to sell a phone that actually *works* did you? Just bow down, buy the iPhone, and for Jobs’ sake don’t try to actually USE it!

    Or go to a carrier who spends more on infrastructure than they do on advertising, and get actual cellular service – and it’s even 3G, not EDGE.

  • http://Website Drew

    It makes sense if you don’t think very much. At&t only got an OS, they can put what they like on it. The only reason for the outrage is because people who like Google want the Android OS. People who like Yahoo don’t care or don’t want Android because it is Google. Now both sides don’t want it. Great marketing.

  • http://Website Joseph

    “Also included is a ton of AT&T apps including AllSport GPS, AT&T Maps, AT&T Music (which takes the place of the standard Music app), AT&T Navigator, AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots, Mobile Banking, MobiTV, MusicID, Where, and YPmobile.”

    Oh great, they’ve loaded it up with crapware. Interesting how that tends to happen with the licensed OS business model. I think I’ll stick with the iPhone for now.

  • http://Website RJ

    I’m curious who, between AT&T and Motorola, really pushed for this change. The post seems to suggest AT&T did, but the quote from Chris Ziegler from Engadget seems decidedly neutral as to who made the call. If Motorola, I wonder if this has anything to do with Motorola being upset with Google due to the Nexus One release coming so soon after the Droid and feeling blind-sided by it?

  • jhon

    hey Nice article !~! Very Informative !!
    I will subscribe to yr updates !!

  • http://Website masa

    Since Android is “open” and from Google (i.e. not evil), that’s great that you can swap out some apps for others. That’s a certainly a plus. But that AT&T swapped out Google for Yahoo? Well, I’m sure the majority of people won’t know the difference, but I can’t see it helping them. Then again, AT&T can’t even support the customers they have now.

    I remember a deal with SBC (now AT&T again) and Yahoo a while back, and I wonder if that’s still in place…

  • http://Website lessthantito

    Blasphemy!!!! without the big G search it’s not a real Android Yahoo is useless and AT&T is just sucking up to Apple

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  • http://Website Andrew

    I’m a WinMo user, personally, but… I still think this is the absolute dumbest thing AT&T could possibly do. It makes me want to get a T-Mobile Android phone out of spite.

  • http://Website anonymous coward

    If the world class technicians (NOT) at AT&T can hack Google search out of the Android OS , I am convinced that any Tom, Dick or Harry can hack it back in.
    Phone Freek, I to, would like to defecate on their sternums.

  • http://Website anonymous coward

    Didn’t Verizon update their Blackberries so that they only use Bing and can’t be switched back to Google?

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  • http://Website James

    Default search provider settings are commercial deals with money exchanged. In the search business, these are called “distribution deals”.

    Why does firefox default to google? Google pays Mozilla a ton of cash for the privilege.

    Why the recent talk of Bing becoming the default on the iPhone? Microsoft probably offered cash.

    Yahoo and AT&T have a long standing cross-promotion deal. This is probably part of that, and probably AT&T probably got a better deal from Yahoo! somehow vs. Google.

    Hopefully it is configurable. Google is also the same in terms of inflexibility for their phones – I have a Verizon Droid, and there is no way I can change my default search provider. So much for openness. The iPhone at least lets you change it to Yahoo! if you are something other than one of the mindless drooling google boosters.

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