Do NOT download the Android 4.4 KitKat update!

    As the title says, DO NOT download the Android 4.4 KitKat update if you want to keep your Note 3 usable! This update is riddled with serve phone disabling bugs and removes the ability for apps to write to the SD card in your phone! If WiFi calling is necessary then stay away! The update will kill your battery by half or more (I used to get two days or a little less and now I'm lucky if I make 8 hours). The update was nominally under the hood updates and nothing really changed other than for the bad. There is now a 5 bar signal indicator (which will make your phone look like it has a better signal as the one bar you used to get in your home will now be two bars. The keyboard is darker and has a few new emoji and emoji are the same throughout all apps (hangouts now uses the traditional Samsung emoji rather than a complete different Google set), icons in the notification bar are now white and the font is Roboto Light vs the old Samsung font. Also persistent notifications no longer have their own section in the notification bar (they are now bunched with everything, EG: Music apps, remote controls, etc), which is annoying at best. That is about it... So the chances are you'll have a million headaches over white icons and a few emoji. DON'T UPDATE!

     

    Long list of detailed issues: Huge battery drain (with Android system and Android OS taking the top two spots next to screen time), GPS issues (takes forever to lock, sometimes will show me at old locations, never shows exact location, always a few hundred feet from spot EG: while driving it looks like I'm on the road parallel to me), WiFi Calling issues (works for the first half hour and then calls and texts stop coming in but the phone looks like normal but you miss call and texts and once you leave WiFi or turn it off you get hit with all your missed texts), WiFi calling also when leaving WiFi area the phone is unable to switch the normal cell radio back on and I get a no smoking sign where the signal should be and I am unable to make calls or text, only a phone reset fixes it), some restarts and freezing (sometimes the phone comes back after a while sometimes a battery pull), I know this is a "feature" as Google calls it but the SD card needs to be modified so it can be written to (KitKat be darned Samsung needs to find a way as it can be done if you root), data speeds are slower and a few more I can't think of.

     

    After doing T-Mobiles recommendations of a SIM pull, battery pull, reset, and finally a hard reset (master reset which deletes everything on your device) my issues are right back. They wanted to send me a replacement (used mind you) and I refused. My phone is in mint condition and worked fine the day before the update and I didn't spent $800 (bought outright) for a used phone! If they offer me a new one with Android 4.3 I will take it and I'm writing an article for consumerist and a few other outlets now. I really can't wait till they push this update to all the Note 3 owners as that will be the only way to get them to fix it ASAP! I have two Note 3's on my account and my parents have two on their account in another state and all 4 have these issues! The OTA push should be happening today or in the next few days! Then more people will have the issue and we will see some movement on the issues. And T-Mobile still won't admit there is an issue but they will have to once every Note 3 owner gets the update. Many haven't experienced the bug because they don't use WiFi calling and I believe this is the catalyst for many of the signal issues.

     

    5th

      All replies

      • stevetjr

        A friend and a neighbor has 2 Note 3's with T-Mobile and other than a few oddities which are just different oddities than they got with 4.3 are not having any issues with 4.4.2 on theirs and they like me use Wi-Fi calling.  Most all my neighbors use T-Mobile since it is really the only one that has reliable service in our neighborhood but it is limited to 2G only as we have to go down the mountain (about 4-6 mi) before we can pick up LTE but for data purposes and to not have Wi-Fi and cell radio running at the same time all use Wi-Fi calling.  I have seen some of  the issues posted on this forum and asked them and they aren't having any issues.

         

        Now some of the issues like the no-smoking and trouble connecting, I had that on my GS4 right after the update but for the most part it has gone away and the few times it happened I just cycled the Wi-Fi on my phone and it picked up the Edge.  The only issue I still have going and it for some reason seems to slowly be getting better is that when I know I should be transitioning between Edge, HSPA or LTE it seems to take longer to change bands but then once it does my reception is improved over 4.3

         

        T-Mobile for the most part won't publicly admit a problem since it is a Samsung device and if they do Samsung could come after them.  T-Mobile is not really responsible for the updates other than testing that they work and as I know a couple that do so it is not every phone.  Now if they do see a problem just because they aren't publicly saying anything about problems I guarantee you if they have concerns they will be telling and pushing Samsung behind the scenes.  Even with the issue with 4.3 non of the other 3 carriers said anything publicly until Samsung finally came out and said they know their is an issue and they are working on a fix.

          • Steve from what I've seen these updates are limited to the hardware of the Note 3 as those with S4 and older Note devices don't have them. And I disagree as T-Mobile is responsible for testing the devices and all of the bugs below shouldn't have gone missed. They should have not released the update with even one issue from the list below let alone them all! Also not telling users that this update will render their SD card useless is another huge NO-NO!

             

            I compiled an updated list of the errors and issues experienced by at least two or more Note 3 users on T-Mobile:

             

            Long list of detailed issues: Huge battery drain (with Android system and Android OS taking the top two spots next to screen time), GPS issues (takes forever to lock, sometimes will show me at old locations, never shows exact location, always a few hundred feet from spot EG: while driving it looks like I'm on the road parallel to me), S-Pen sensitivity issues (where the S-Pen has to be pressed very hard to get the phone to write on the screen), unable to come out of sleep mode (when you press power button fails to turn the screen back on), data connection drops constantly and slow speeds via data networks, auto brightness issues (auto brightness has to be selected and then unselected to make it work correctly), proximity sensor staying on 24-7 (restart fixes), screen freezing & random restarts (sometimes the phone comes back after a while sometimes a battery pull or soft reset is necessary),WiFi Calling issues (works for the first half hour and then calls and texts stop coming in but the phone looks like normal but you miss call and texts and once you leave WiFi or turn it off you get hit with all your missed texts), WiFi calling also when leaving WiFi area the phone is unable to switch the normal cell radio back on and I get a no smoking sign where the signal should be and I am unable to make calls or text, only a phone reset fixes it) and finally writing to the SD card via third party apps, I know this is a "feature" as Google calls it but the SD card needs to be modified so it can be written to (KitKat be darned Samsung needs to find a way as it can be done if you root).

             

            SD card info for those who don't know: Google changed the SD card policy in KitKat where only system apps can write to your SD card (if you phone has one). Their goal is to stop manufacturers from including them in devices anyway as they say their speeds range and make the overall Android experience suffer. This is BS and makes them more like Apple than anything. They also don't want you to have capacitive buttons or button on your phone in general and they want to do away with removable batteries too (dumbing down for the least common denominator) but that's for another day. Now you may think you don't use the DS card in your phone that much but I beg to differ. Also what's the point of having a 64GB or 128GB microSD only to have it do nothing! With KitKat the SD card can not be written to by third party apps, only system (Samsung) and Google apps. So if you use an app to download music it won't work, if you put your music on your SD card and want to edit the song title or ID3 info won't work, if you save flixster/xfinity/vudu movies to your device it won't work, if you download pics from a internet browser or use a wallpaper app picker, won't work, want to use a file manager to manage your files... too bad! Hell some apps simply used the SD card to cache information which can no longer be done. Some apps will simply go to internal memory while others will not function altogether or crash. If Google wants to disable SD write access they should stop manufacturers from making new phones with it, simply not disable the SD card currently on devices! T-Mobile should have to give us all our money back as they said nothing about this update disabling our SD cards before the update?! We don't have it too bad on the Note 3 as we have 32GB of memory but phones like the s4 and s5 will have less than 8GB (16GB total and 8GB for Samsung Software) for movies, games, music and apps! WTF?!

             

            5th

              • stevetjr

                I as I said in my original post I have a GS4 but my friends/neighbors both have Note 3's have upgraded to KitKat and have no issues with either their SD cards or Wi-Fi calling. The only thing I gave heard was it just seemed to have a few oddities but so did 4.3 and they have less issues with the ones they have now and like KitKat.

                  • rbryinc

                    Re: Do NOT download the Android 4.4 KitKat update!

                    There are SD cards issues, you can not save to it from 3rd party apps.  IF you think they have no issues tell them to use any browser other then a Google one and just try to save a picture to the SD card, will tell you download failed

                    • Are you sure they upgraded as they would have to manually look for the update. Also most people don't know they are even having issues for days... until someone tells them they have been calling them for a while or texting them and then they realize their phone isn't working. Also the largest bug the WiFi calling bug will not be experienced if the person doesn't use WiFi calling. The battery bug is an issue with KitKat and should be affecting everyone no matter which apps you run. I used to get two days easy on my Note 3 before and a day and a half with heavy use but now I'm lucky to get 8 hours with 3 hours screen on time.

                       

                      Oh and to those who think they have no issues go in and turn on WiFi calling and then come back in a day and tell me your exp..

                       

                      5th

                • I get alot of "Unfortunately, Email has stopped" along with Touch Wiz doing the same thing.

                    • theartiszan

                      A lot of the time I have noticed with larger upgrades like this is compatibility with the way older programs are running.

                      I know as a way of preventing things I usually always do a reset at the time of a upgrade.

                      What I would recommend first would be to go into the recovery of the phone and clear the cache.

                      That would cause the app to rebuild its cache data and can clear up a lot of these kinds of issues I have noticed.

                      • My goal with this post was to get users together rather than a million separate posts to talk about their issues with KitKat. Now that T-Mobile is sending out this update to the masses automatically we should see an influx of users and issues. Before users had to manually search for and download the update and we still had a ton of complaints so imagine how many will be here when every Note 3 owner with T-Mobile in the US has it! I'm happy they are still releasing it nationwide now as this will mean more people are affected and will force T-Mobile to do something quickly!

                         

                        Also an update on the battery issue:

                         

                        The battery drain issues supposedly comes from a bug in KitKat which runs the CPU in the background for the camera-daemon. And force closing the camera app or associated apps does nothing to fix it. Users on the Note 3 and Nexus 5, or any device running a Snapdragon 800 (+)(credit: Mostafa Hefny). This update will halve your battery life on your Note 3 so it's best not to update if you already haven't.

                         

                        mharman10, I use the Google Now Launcher so I don't have that issue but I get force closes by Google Search a lot. I use the Google launcher as I love the big bright icons, unlimited homescreens, being able to say, "OK Google" from anywhere and having  Google Now only a swipe to the left away! You can try it at the link below near the bottom it says APK Download. Its and official Google app signed any everything so it's safe. But if you try to download it from the Play Store it will say it's incompatible with your phone, which it's not. And before anyone says that's the cause of my issues I tried it after my hard reset without it and still had the issues. Also I used it on 4.3 for a few months now without any issues.

                         

                        Google Releases The Google Now Launcher To The Play Store, Only Compatible With Nexus And GPE Devices Right Now [APK Dow…

                         

                        theartiszan, it has nothing to do with a clean update as I hard reset my phone only to have the issues come back afterwards. Also the hard reset doesn't fix the fact that T-Mobile didn't tell anyone they would be losing SD card support.

                         

                        5th

                      • I have not had any of these issues after updating my Note 3 to 4.4.2. Everything is great! My battery lasts forever, I have excellent signal, and I have not seen a single crash that was not caused by me.

                         

                        My only complaint is the "Your Internet connection is unstable" message but that was there before the upgrade. I cannot find any issues with the 4.4.2 upgrade outside of the third party apps losing access to the SD card. But there are plenty of easy ways around that issue.

                          • rbryinc

                            Re: Do NOT download the Android 4.4 KitKat update!

                            I to have had very little issues, I must say though that SD card thing blows because I use Boat Browser and use to download to SD card and now I can not but as said I just download to the phone and when I get home plug phone into PC and copy everything I downloaded to SD card.  Yes it sucks but hey only other option is get a non google phone(Iphone) that does not even HAVE an SD card to load to

                          • rbryinc

                            I understand the whole SD card thing and why they did it but that was one of the most useful things on the phone with how I use the phone.  I am not saying it will happen but Samsung doing this to the SD card will have me taking a long hard look at what the Iphone 6 has to offer....It will be sad because I have had an android since the G1and I am not a huge fan of not having extended memory.  This move puts the Iphone back in the picture at least for me

                              • stevetjr

                                Re: Do NOT download the Android 4.4 KitKat update!

                                That would be a strange change going back to Apple which is ten times more restrictive and you can't even just view files.  I agree it would have been nice if Samsung or Google had put out a little more information about the up coming change and why.  I think it is a few apps that have not updated their structure of essentially putting a sandbox within the sandbox.  Now the file explorers present a challenge because they don't have their own folder to write in and are designed to write and read in every folder so coming up with a solution for that with the double sandbox does put a kink in things.  My understanding is that this does not affect the PC's via USB's ability to read and write in any directory.

                                  • Steve, they TOLD NO ONE about the SD card changes and "a few apps"? I can find you hundreds of major apps that have issues or simply don't run after the update (probably 80% of apps on the playstore or more)! Hell other than a messages backup program I found,  I can't find one other app which has updated!

                                     

                                    5th

                                      • stevetjr

                                        RIght now I am running Xfintiy, Embark (NYC Subway APP), Linkedin, FB Messenger, Netgear Genie and Monopoly Bingo as apps off the SD Card.  Of course I store all my music and all but the HDR pictures on the SD Card.  Neither music player the Samsung or Google have had issues playing the music.

                                         

                                        I agree it was pretty bad they didn't tell anyone (users anyway) you wonder if they told any developers or the fact that KitKat has been out since late last year on all the Google Play and Nexus devices you would think we would have heard more about it that we did before now when it seems to be blowing up and even the article which I posted was a recent article.  If they had given a heads up everyone could have known what to expect so could have pulled the apps back to the phone memory during the upgrade then put them back.

                                         

                                        As for the file explores unfortunate that leaving them as is a huge security issue and will just have to use the PC to get to the file structure of the SD card for now and hopefully they can come up with something long term that both protects the security of other programs on the SD card and still have use of a file explorers.  I still think Android is a much better choice and with more choice than Apple's totally closed environment that you can't just even manually move a mp3 file from the pc to the phone with cut and paste unlike iPhone that you have to go thru iTunes which is a PITA.

                                    • It wasn't samsung, Google is the one that made the changes to the whole sd card thing, every phone running kit kat has the same problem.

                                    • Hey 5th...

                                       

                                      Just got the update notification from T-Mobile this week and it downloaded the update to my Note. Now I'm getting a notification to make the update or the option to delay it for at max 1 day.

                                      But... I don't want do do the update at all. There is no option to cancel the update notification. When I'm going to the App-Info, there is no way to un-check the box "Show Notification".

                                      I guess the box is named "Show Notification", because my Note 3 is set to German language and it's called "Benachrichtig. anzeigen" - but you probably know what I mean.

                                      Anyway... is there any way to get rid of the notification.

                                      Thanks for any help...

                                       

                                      Frank

                                        • mr.frank & rhsortho, I'm not sure if this will help but give it a try. Go to settings, general tab, then application manager, scroll right to "All" option, then search the list for Software update. Now pick the first one and clear the cache and then "Turn off" the app. Then hit back and go into the other and it won't let you turn off but it will let you clear the cache. Now restart your phone and let's see what happens. On my phone once I did this it no longer checked for the update on a user end update search but I'm not sure if it will stop a system pushed one. Give it a shot. It won't hurt your phone and might work. If it doesn't simply follow my same instructions but in the app manager swipe to turned off instead of all and then find software update in the list and turn it back on. Otherwise there is not much to do. Good luck.

                                           

                                          Stevejr, you can store the xfinity app and other apps to your SD card but any saved shows or movies will be saved to internal memory. The small 50MB app size doesn't bother me its the 2+GB movies each I want to save! Also music players, even third party ones will be able to read the music but not be able to rearrange files, rename, edit ID3 info, download album art, lyrics, etc! Also I have Vudu, Flixster both of which will I can push the app to the SD but any cache files or movie info will be saved to the internal memory only, which it used to default to the SD card.

                                           

                                          Regards,

                                           

                                          5th

                                        • rhsortho

                                          Thank you for the advice.  My Note3 is 2 days old (and my first Android device).  Anyway, I finally got it tweaked/personalized to where I like it, and am getting used to navigating around.  But I am wondering how do I avoid getting this "update"? - is there a setting I can change to have it not download? From what I've been reading, it'll download automatically, and the user will have to manually install it or postpone.  and a "postpone" selection is only good for one day?  Right now the phone is working perfectly so I don't want to do any upgrade since it appears one cannot downgrade once it's done?  Forgive my questions, I've been using WinMo 6.5 til now.

                                          • Hi.  I don't have good network coverage at home so I use WIFI for everything (also saves on billing).  All of my devices that use WIFI: wii, computer, printer, blue-ray player have no issues w/ my router.  About a month ago my phone stopped supporting everything over wifi - I'm thinking it coincided w/ the 4.4.2 update.   I can't receive texts, send texts, browsing "times out", can't make calls...  I feel so helpless.  Seeing as you first saw these issues many many months ago and I am still challenged to find CLEAR solution online, I'm hoping you can be of assistance.  Any suggestions?