Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners who have already received the Android 4.4 KitKat update will be pleased to know that the South Korean manufacturer is now sending out a software update to correct the accessory incompatibility issues that came with the new operating system.
The Galaxy Note 3 was the first Samsung device to receive the Android 4.4 KitKat update in mid-January, but it wasn’t long before early adopters in several foreign countries discovered that the update rendered their third-party smart cover accessories non-functional. Smart covers notably allow users to quick-view certain display options, such as the time, incoming or missed calls, new text messages and playing music, while the cover is still closed. Samsung sells its own brand of smart covers, but many other manufacturers, such as Spigen, also market smart covers for devices in Samsung’s Galaxy line. The Spigen Slim Armor View smart cover, in particular, was singled out as an accessory that failed to work after the Galaxy Note 3 updated to Android 4.4.
Early on, several reports suggested that the origin of the accessory incompatibility might be deliberate on Samsung’s part, and that the manufacturer may have begun implementing certain accessories with authentication chips, which would make Samsung devices compatible only with Samsung brand accessories. Samsung has and continues to deny any such deliberate tampering with its accessories, but did eventually admit there was a software issue with Android 4.4 that caused the incompatibility. The manufacturer promised a software fix in late January, and nearly one month later that fix is hitting Galaxy Note 3 devices.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3, SM-N9005 model handsets in Poland and Russia, which were the first to receive the Android 4.4 update, are now receiving the N9005XXUENB3, build update in order to fix the third-part accessory incompatibility issue. Users can check for the update manually by accessing Settings > General > About device > Software update menu; however, the update will also roll out over the air, and should soon prompt automatically for Polish and Russian Galaxy Note 3 users. Galaxy Note 3 handets in several countries throughout Europe and Asia have also received the initial Android 4.4 update and will likely aslo receive the software fix at some point.
No other Galaxy Note 3 models have updated to Android 4.4 KitKat since the accessory issue was discovered, but Samsung announced Tuesday that several of its Galaxy devices in the U.S. will soon begin receiving the new operating system. Notably, the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 began updating to Android 4.4 last week, and the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 is also expected to update on Wednesday. The Sprint Galaxy Note 3 is expected to update soon as its kernel source has recently been released.
There is currently no word on whether Galaxy devices that have recently updated or will soon update to Android 4.4 will have the same accessory incompatibility issue, or if this software fix will be implemented before any rollouts. Thus far, no U.S. Galaxy users have reported any issues.
Are you a Polish or Russian Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owner? Has your handset received the patch update for the accessory incompatibility issue? Let us know in the comments below.