We have some bad news, folks. The official KitKat update recently went out to owners of the Galaxy Note 3 in some countries, and the update has brought with it a new “feature” from Samsung that just might lose it a lot of fans. With Android 4.4, Samsung finally enabled the long rumored “accessory authentication” system.
Those Note 3 owners with the update have noticed that third-party accessories, like Spigen’s S View cases, have ceased to work properly after installing the update. For accessories to function properly with the KitKat-powered Note 3, they need to have an identification chip from Samsung embedded in them.
There are a few solutions, like ripping the identification chip out of an official case and sticking it in an unofficial one, or even an Xposed module for the rooted devices. But why the hell should people modify their devices and accessories to use the cases they purchased with no warning that they will cease functioning?
Sadly, the accessory manufacturers will get a lot of hate for this, even though Samsung is behind it all. It looks like Samsung is adopting one of Apple’s most hated policies (I loved to brag about using any accessory I want with my Android device while iPhone owners have to buy specific ones). If Samsung makes this change widespread, I can say for certain that they will have lost this fanboy’s loyalty and money.
It’s a pretty terrible situation for everyone. Accessory makers will have to license identification chips and complicate their manufacturing process, consumers will have less choice in accessories and pay higher prices and Samsung will lose customers . No one wins. Give us your thoughts on the subject, and if you need to insult Samsung, be our guest.
Update: Samsung has responded to the issue at hand, and it’s… unhelpful.
To ensure a pleasant and smooth user experience with Samsung products for our customers, we recommend that only original accessories from Samsung to use. Of course, customers can continue to rely on third-party accessories. The full functionality of our devices and accessories, however, can only be ensured with genuine Samsung components, since only in this way it is ensured that equipment and accessories are perfectly matched. A correlation between the Android version 4.4 and the supposed incompatibility of third-party accessories does not exist.Samsung
So basically, third party cases suddenly stop working for everyone in a certain area as soon as they update to KitKat, and Samsung cases happen to have an identifier chip that, when taken out, allows third party cases to work again, but Samsung didn’t do it. It seems like a total lie, but this just might be a good thing. This may be Samsung going back on this decision, trying to deny it while it fixes the compatibility. Hopefully this will blow over soon.