Just about a month ago, Samsung had begun distribution of its KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 3, and as users installed the new software, we started hearing reports about phone accessories that no longer functioned. As it turns out, the update started detecting whether or not S-View-style cases were Samsung-approved, and disabled the corresponding software functionality if they weren’t legit. While it looked like a real jerk move, it wasn’t unexpected, as rumors had been suggesting since fall of last year that just such a restriction was in the works. However, faced with publish backlash over the update, Samsung went on the defensive, calling it a “software compatibility issue,” and framing the incident as an accident while also promising the delivery of a fix. We still have questions about Samsung’s explanation, but at the very least that fix is now becoming a reality.
The update’s reportedly hitting Note 3 owners (those with the SM-N9005, at least) in Europe and Asia, and should likely be coming to Note 3s elsewhere quite soon. Beyond disabling that accessory-killing code, the update is also supposed to correct an issue with apps being unable to store files on microSD cards.
Maybe we’re beating a dead horse by this point, but it’s just a little hard to believe that Samsung included an authentication chip in the Note 3′s S-View case, but never planned to actually use it for anything.