While the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates promised a number of significant upgrades including Galaxy Gear support and Galaxy KNOX for added security, it now appears that they have also brought some Android 4.3 Jelly Bean problems to owners of these three Galaxy devices.
Back in September, Samsung announced that it would be delivering a brand new update to owners of the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. The update, it said, would bring Galaxy Gear support to users. The Galaxy Gear is Samsung’s smartwatch accessory that has been promoted alongside the Galaxy Note 3 since October.
In October, Samsung revealed those updates to be the long awaited upgrades to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and promised a host of enhancements for owners of the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, enhancements that would come in addition to the Galaxy Gear support. Chief among them, Samsung KNOX for those who want to separate work and play on their device. Samsung declined to offer specifics on release dates but shortly after its announcement, the software started rolling out for the Galaxy S4.
Several weeks later, the Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update arrived. And then, a few days after that, the Galaxy Note 2 update rolled out. In the United States, the Galaxy S4 update has landed for all five major carriers and today, started rolling out for users on C Spire. The Galaxy S3 update still needs to land on Verizon and the Galaxy Note 2 update is only available on Sprint and U.S. Cellular. In most cases, being without a major Android update is agonizing. However, in the case of Android 4.3, those without the software might actually be the fortunate ones.
Problems haven’t been a stranger to these Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updates. Already, we’ve seen Samsung pull a number of updates due to issues. And while the company appears to have gotten back on track, there is still, according to its massive user base, a ton of work left to be done.
Now that the dust has settled on many of these Android 4.3 roll outs, we’re getting a good look at the aftermath and from here, it doesn’t look pretty. Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 uses are complaining about a myriad of issues with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The problems aren’t just limited to one carrier either. They appear to be across the board.
Samsung Galaxy S4 users, across carriers, are complaining about a number of issues with their device after installing the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. On Verizon, the problems include slow charging, battery life problems, and Wi-Fi connectivity issues. On AT&T, users are echoing Verizon users as they too are experiencing issues with Wi-Fi, battery life, and a drop in Bluetooth connectivity.
On the Galaxy S3, we’re seeing Sprint users are seeing video skip in applications like Netflix and Chrome. This doesn’t appear to be widespread and it may depend on updates to both Chrome and Netflix. On AT&T, there is a thread where users note a number of smaller issues in addition to larger ones like sluggishness and battery drain.
The one Galaxy Note 2 update that is out right now, the update for the Sprint Galaxy Note 2, seems to be causing problems as well. There is a fairly lengthy thread on XDA-Developers forum wherein a Sprint user outlines the many problems affecting his device after the update.
These issues are much bigger than they appear. One, these carriers are typically slow to push out bug fix updates which means that those who are experiencing issues are unlikely to get a fix in the immediate future. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon also don’t announce release dates ahead of time and customer service representatives typically don’t have that kind of information.
The other difficult aspect is that many of these issues don’t have fixes that are guaranteed to work, one hundred percent of the time. For instance, there are tons of people complaining about Wi-Fi issues and battery life problems but there isn’t one fix that has worked for everyone. And there may never be.
Those who are experiencing major issues on the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 will likely find the best option to be a hard reset. A hard reset will restore the device to its factory settings, something that has the potential to wipe out the culprits for these issues. More often than not, it’s third-party software that is causing problems, not the software itself.
Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 users should remain hopeful for bug fix updates between now and the arrival of Android 4.4 KitKat though nothing is guaranteed. Users will need to trust that Samsung and its carriers are working on solving at least some of these issues but that nothing is going to be fixed overnight. Immediate support like that is usually limited to Google’s Nexus devices which receive their updates, both major and incremental, from Google itself.