After an update to Android 4.4 caused problems with certain Galaxy Note 3 cases, Samsung is calling it an accident.
The update had caused some third-party flip covers to lose their S-View functionality. Users could no longer close the case to turn off the screen or see notifications and widgets through the small viewing window.
Samsung's official cases contain an identification chip, allowing the phone to recognize authorized accessories. With the latest software update, it appeared that Samsung was going crack down on unofficial accessories that don't have the chip. The only way to restore functionality was to either root the phone or graft the chip from an official case onto an unofficial one.
Originally, Samsung responded by telling users to only use official accessories to ensure a “pleasant and smooth experience,” but now the company is changing its tune.
In a statement to Ars Technica, Samsung owned up to what it called a “software compatibility issue,” and promised to issue a new update “shortly” to restore compatibility.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Allowing third parties to make and sell accessories for the Galaxy Note 3 and then subsequently breaking those accessories through a software update would be a sinister move. Even if Samsung does want to lock down the accessory market for Galaxy devices, existing users should not become collateral damage along the way. Fortunately, this "accident" should be cleared up soon.