Samsung fix due for unofficial Note 3 smart-covers broken by KitKat

Samsung fix due for unofficial Note 3 smart-covers broken by KitKat

Summary: Samsung will issue an update its recent KitKat rollout for the Galaxy Note 3, which broke unofficial S-View smart-covers.


An update to KitKat will soon be on its way to Galaxy Note 3 devices will soon fix a bug that stopped some third-party accessories functioning.

The Spigen S-View Slim Armor case. Image: Spigen
The Spigen S-View Slim Armor case. Image: Spigen

Samsung has confirmed it will issue the update to Android 4.4.2, which it's been rolling out over the past week to Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. According to complaints on XDA forums, the bug broke third-party versions of Samsung's S-View smart-cover.

"We have currently identified the software compatibility issue. The software update will be available shortly. We are committed to offering a diverse and reliable mobile experience for all customers, providing continued support and solutions for any issues that arise with product updates for both Samsung manufactured and third-party accessories," Samsung said in a statement to ZDNet.

Like their official counterparts, unofficial versions of S-View should show time and notifications through a transparent pane over the top half of the cover. Complaints initially aired on XDA-Developers forums cited problems with the $60 Spigen S-View Slim Armor (pictured) for the Note 3.

Galaxy Note 3 owners were none too happy after an official response to a German Samsung fan site circulated in which Samsung denied that the compatibility issue between KitKat and third-party accessories existed.

It also fanned speculation that Samsung had rigged its accessories (such as covers and chargers) with authentication chips to prevent unofficial ones from working.

While it's unlikely Samsung would use an authentication mechanism to wipe out third-party accessories, the impact on such equipment in its KitKat update certainly made it seem so.  

As Ars Technica noted, the chips were already built into Samsung's official accessories but had not been activated in Android 4.3. That changed with KitKat update, effectively turning unofficial smart covers in to a dumb cover.

More on Samsung

Topics: Samsung, Android, Hardware, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • * * * PROPRIETARY * * *

    Don't yah just HATE that word?
    HUMmmmm... sounds like PREDATORY.
    Something that gets paid to eat anything that's not supposed to be there.
    bad, very bad
  • life time of a note3 battery

    I've got my new note3 10 days ago
    & my battery isn't lasting more then 12 hours
    Knowing that I have another free phone that I use for my phone calls.
    Basically all what I do with my note3 is some internet and WhatsApp
    Is that normal?
    rabih Khoury
    • battery should last a minimum of 20 hours

      Hi rabih, u should take your phone to the nearest samsung service centre, because its strange that your battery lasts for only 12 hours on a full charge.I got my note 3 a month back, the snapdragon 800 model and i get minimum 18 hours of battery backup with intense usage.Always make sure that you always close the running applications on your phone, cause that eats up a lot of battery.Another small advice to you is that do not keep your phone for charge overnight, as it reduces the battery life of the takes less than 2 hours for the note 3 to get fully charged, which is amazing via the Usb 3.0
      I have tried to answer your query.thank you