Third-party Galaxy Note 3 case functionality killed after KitKat update; fix available for root users


Uh-oh. A big ol’ stink is brewing over the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 following its upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat. Several reports suggest the South Korean company is blocking functionality of third-party accessories which aren’t officially licensed by Samsung. This mainly pertains to a selection of smart covers, such as the ones that show you only part of the screen while the case is closed.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 wireless charging s-view flip cover black

This effectively means that every case made for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are no longer fully functional. They all still fit, obviously, but users won’t get to enjoy features such as S-View, and possibly automatic power-on / standby.

It was previously reported that Samsung was looking to test a new identification chip for accessories starting with the Galaxy Note 3. Most folks assumed that rumor was debunked, though, as third-party accessories were every bit as functional as Samsung’s at launch.

This latest episode shows that the feature might have been there all along, though, and that it was merely a dormant beast waiting to be awakened by the Android 4.4 KitKat. So where do we go from here?

If true, third-party accessory makers will still be able to make cases that are on-par with Samsung’s, but will likely have to be licensed and outfitted with an identification chip. The only issue with that is we’re still not sure what’s going to have to happen for the millions of other cases already out and about. We’ll be reaching out to Samsung to see what their plans are on this going forward (that’s if any of this is true to begin with).

In the meantime, a fix has been found for those of you who don’t mind rooting your devices. The fix requires the Xposed framework tool, so be sure read up about how you can install and use that here. After that, find a download link for the APK you’ll need here (it’s as simple as installing the APK and enabling its functionality in Xposed).

[via SamMobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I decided after my Gnex to never buy Samsung again. Their business practices are the same that drove me away from Apple. Worse is some regards. (And their radios SUCK!)

  2. I agree. GNex did it for me. Never again. Rocking a HTC One Max now…

    1. Yep, went to Sony myself after a few Samsung devices

  3. Awakened by Android 4.4 KitKat??? Show me those commits in AOSP that broke this functionality.

    Samsung also released a statement saying there isn’t any link between the update and the loss of functionality (whether or not that’s true is another story) and this should have been mentioned in the above ‘article’

    Do your research, choose your words carefully

    1. I did my research. I never actually said it was confirmed Samsung did this intentionally, hence my desire to reach out and get more information from the horse’s mouth. I am aware of the statement going around, but am waiting to hear for myself.

      PS: I think you misunderstood what I was saying in the dormant beast line. I wasn’t saying it was KitKat alone, but Samsung’s own custom bits (something that wouldn’t show up in AOSP source commits, FYI).


  4. Seems to be copying Apple again (re: Apple proprietary 8 Pin Sync Cables) .. and this Along with the Knox system isnt really attracting me to buy a Sumsung Device…. :(

  5. Haha. Oh Samsung, that’s the real beast waiting to break off of the Android ecosystem.

  6. This is what happens when a company grows to big and get’s up it’s own ass.

    1. It’s also why (Not this specifically, but the attitude of Samsung in general.) I won’t buy another Samsung phone.

  7. Now nobody is saying that they didn’t copy Apple

    Edit: I think this is worse; as I recall, the iPhone would only spit out a warning if you used an unapproved accessory, not cease functionality.

  8. What a douchebag move Samsung real douchebag.

  9. Let’s say it was unintentional. This is still why Samsung proprietary crap is no good.

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