Note 3 users: Samsung disabled unofficial accessories via software update


A number of users are claiming that the Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update breaks compatibility with some third-party accessories. The accessories affected are unofficial versions of Samsung’s S-View Flip Cover, a case with a window over the top half of the screen. A working S-View cover will turn the screen on and trigger a special display that shows the time and notifications through its window. In the previous update, Android 4.3, unofficial S-View covers could trigger this special display mode as well, but after the update to 4.4, the phone will only recognize Samsung-made products.

A report by SamMobile says that the official flip cover contains an authentication chip that triggers the special S-View mode. If a phone running the KitKat update does not detect an official Samsung authentication chip, the display changeover never happens, and the third-party smart cover becomes a dumb cover. Apparently, official Samsung cases have always contained the authentication chip, but the authentication was not previously enforced. With the KitKat update, it appears that the Note 3 now requires the presence of the Samsung authentication chip to switch over into S-View mode, which breaks existing third-party smart covers.

Some intrepid users have already figured out ways around the new limitations. One way, of course, is to rip the authentication chip out of a legit S-View case and affix it to a third-party case. The other is a software hack for rooted devices that can supposedly restore compatibility with all cases—attempt that at your own risk.

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via Ars Technica


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