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

Samsung will issue an update its recent KitKat rollout for the Galaxy Note 3, which broke unofficial S-View smart-covers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

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.

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