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New Software Update VRUAME7 Available for Verizon’s Galaxy S4 Through Desktop Installer, Apps to SD Card Included

galaxy s4 update verizon

The Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon has a new update available this morning, though the way to get it differs than the procedure you are probably most used to. Instead of being pushed over-the-air (OTA), Verizon is using a Software Upgrade Assistant through either Windows or MAC PC to install the update. Now, we noticed a mention of this tool on Big Red’s site a week or so ago but assumed it was a placeholder for a future update. Boy were we wrong. We were able to attached our Verizon GS4 to a MAC this morning, find the drive that housed a VZW Installer app, launch that app, and then begin an upgrade process. 

The update is VRUAME7, and appears to be very large, as the update took a substantial amount of time to download and then install (probably 20+ minutes). For now, all we can tell is that the update allows for the notification bar to remain transparent on any wallpaper and that apps can be moved to the SD card. There is a chance that it also includes Samsung’s KNOX security suite, which was recently a part of an OTA for Sprint’s Galaxy S4. Verizon has yet to release an official changelog, so we’re stuck digging for changes.

galaxy s4 update

One reader of ours did lose root after updating, so be careful. There is also a new line in the “About phone” section that reads “Secure boot status, Type: Samsung,” however, that could mean nothing for all we know.

Update:  We’ve been told that this permanently patches the previous root method, includes a new bootloader, and will (for the time being) make life hell for those who want root. If you wan’t to keep your freedom, do not update yet. (More at this XDA thread.)

Instructions for setting up the software update installer can be found here.

Cheers Tae!

  • MMcDaniel

    Seems likely this was the update which forced itself on my GS4 last night, OTA Seems Verizon realized not everyone cared about the update, or was on board with losing root. I am guessing no one was going through all the extra steps to hook their phone up to the computer and installing the Verizon software to their computer, so they pushed it out the old fashioned way afterall.

  • drchuck

    If my phone is rooted, do I need to unroot it for the updater to succeed? I rooted only to get rid of bloat for RAM-space, but with App2SD it’s no longer an issue for me (I’m OK with disabling the bloat). However, my updater fails during the burn phase (actually, never starts). Perhaps due to the root and some “missing” bloat?

  • Pengyu Ren

    I just upgraded on my phone. Didn’t use any laptop.

  • feztheforeigner

    Way to go back to 2008 Verizon/Samsung…

  • kujayhawk2

    Just updated on Verizon OTA.

  • ericswonderland

    Or just OTA like I did.

  • Kristyna Stukel

    i went to about phone and checked for update it was there and im installing now

  • Jack Lin

    I was able to do an OTA update, though free wifi hotspot is blocked with the new OS…

  • amanda stengel

    I tried updating it then it said I need 8gb of space when my laptop has only 4 how am I able to update my phone now?

  • Brian Ober

    anyone else seeing worst battery life with this SW?

    • Justin Bontrager

      I haven’t noticed much of a difference except I think the auto brightness makes the screen brighter now so that could have an effect.

    • Matt

      Yes, my phone was fully charged (100%) when I went to bed, then 8 hours later when I got up, it was down to 67%. Then, over the course of the day, it lost the rest of that charge (down to 2% when I got home) over the next 6 hours, and I only used it for about 10-15 minutes every hour, at most. In other words, 1.5 hours of real use plus 13.5 hours locked killed 98% of the battery. This seems pretty ridiculous to me.

      • Brian Ober

        yeah, I had to do a few things and jury is still out but it seems better.

        1) I factory reset my phone after the update and set things back up
        2) Once everything was back up and all of the Google Market stuff had installed from my account (including manual updates) I noticed that Google Play Services was consuming a lot of battery, I uninstalled the updates from this app (if you go to the app information, there is an uninstall updates option)
        3) I then reinstalled Google Play Services
        4) i then shut off GPS and turned it back on

        This has been the only combination I have been able to use to get this thing working normally again (maybe it’s just a coincidence)

        Also, if Google Maps is taking a lot of battery, go to maps and disable location reporting and location history, this will help you out a lot.

  • Justin Bontrager

    Broke my tether.

    • JackL

      Same happened.

  • Furyswrath

    It has new Camera Firmware.. Has a few new settings in the camera app. Thats all Ive found so far. Other than the App to SD Option.

  • ASW

    I got my VzW GS4 last week, and rooted this past weekend. Has a way been found to regain root after the update? Right now, my SCH-1545 is running great, but that update has features and enhancements I want.

    • john fragoulias

      I am almost done with the update on my S4, in regards to root, to be quite honest, this phone flies and is in no need as of right now to be rooted “maybe in the future”, that was another story in regards to the S3 which I also own and is rooted and unlocked.

    • Justin Bontrager

      I used Jtether for tethering, worked without root and bypassed the subscription check. After update it doesn’t work, I tried FoxFi too.

  • VIphoneFan

    DO NOT UPDATE TO THIS!!!! IT MESSED MINE UP. PHONE HAS BECAME VIRTUALLY UNUSABLE. A LAG FROM SENDING TEXT TO A 2-3 MIN LAG FROM HITTING THE WIFI IN THE NOTIFICATION BAR..I AM NOT EXAGGERATING EITHER.
    LET ME KNOW IF OTEHRS ARE HAVING SIMILAR ISSUES.
    sorry for caps lock but i dont want others to have the head ache i am dealing with.

  • Eric

    Every time I go to download the update from the software upgrade assistant, it tells me that “there was an error while repairing your device” then asks me to reconnect my device. I keep clicking on “Upgrade my GS4″ but then it gives me that dang same message. Anyone know how to fix this? This is getting to be a major pain. Do I have to repair my device before it will allow me to download this update!?

    • Trevor H

      thank god someone else is having the same issue. I’ve tried it with the Verizon updater, as well as downloading and installing Samsung KIES directly — each and EVERY time it craps out (Verizon software at around 50%) and kies at around 69%. I tried it on my windows machine, and my MacBook with the same results. Then decided to try it one last time on my mac mini and it worked — either I got lucky (I’m sure their servers are being hit) or it just preferred mac (which makes no damn sense anyhow).
      Ultimately, all you can do, is keep trying. There’s a post over on XDA with the update file that you can flash with ODIN.

      • polo

        Im having the same issue!!!

  • oootheoneooo

    My Galaxy s4 feels much more responsive with this update. Moving everything I can to my SD card :)

  • Jacob S

    This also comes with a couple new wallpapers.

  • ThePeas

    Looks like the camera firmware got updated, launch the camera after install. I got a message saying firmware is being updated please wait.

    • http://dudek.tumblr.com bdudek

      so the link provided by droid life worked for you then?

      • ThePeas

        I think people are confused about the link… The software you need is embedded in the phone, not that link in the instructions. Follow the instructions it should work, it did for me anyway. Installed the updater from the phone, ran the software update, the rest was all automated.

        • http://dudek.tumblr.com bdudek

          I’m having trouble with this on my Mac. The Verizon Mobile disc will show up on my desktop but go away after about 20 seconds. When I double click to open it, I see the VZW Software Upgrade, but when I double click to run it, it says it has encountered a problem. UGH.

          • ThePeas

            Bad USB cable? I updated mine from a Mac without issue.

  • imtoomuch

    S4 is already getting updated. What about the S3? Did Verizon forget about it already? Of course they did, they’re a horrible provider! Glad I’m rooted and can’t wait to lose Verizon.

    • Cory Adams

      uh they just updated the S3…

  • G-Note

    We need this for the Note 2!

  • chris125

    This is why the developer edition you wouldn’t have to worry about these bootloader patches

    • mark webb

      Yeah, I hesitated before I bought the Dev Edition and some actually thought it foolish in other forums, but am now glad I did. We kinda new this day would come..but I have faith it can at least be rooted again.

      • coolsilver

        Hope a flash dump of bootloader can be done and permanent unlock for all phones.

  • chris125

    Wow Verizon getting an update same time as the other carriers. What is this world coming to? Lol

    • Blue Sun

      Locking bootloaders is the only thing that will motivate them to release timely updates it seems.

      • John Wentworth

        I think this is the real motivation for timely updates in this case both on Verizon and AT&T. They want to patch root methods and kill the loki exploit that enables custom roms, hasn’t been confirmed I know but the fact that

        • DanSan

          yea they dont care about customer satisfaction or feature updates or anything like that. they just want to make sure all holes are closed

  • Open1Your1Eyes0
  • DanSan

    didnt flash on my phone personally because im rooted but did it to a friends at work and he feels like its running faster

    • j boner

      thats like when i was little kid and thought getting new shoes helped me run faster

  • Averix

    I swear this ups the brightness a few notches. I usually keep mine at 75% but after this, I had to turn it down to 50%. The status bar now has the nearly transparent background on all home screen backgrounds, not just the Samsung ones.

  • Ian

    This better be a one-time update install flow due to large file sizes. If this is their new workflow to push updates via PC, its a huge step backwards. Leave it to Verizon..

    • Avery Dejuan Herron

      no its a huge step forward now we may not have to have them wine about it going over there network and, and have to wait in really slow waves and another thing is people won’t have to use up valuable data downloading huge update files glad I still have unlimited data!

      • Ian

        you forgot the /sarcasm

  • schoat333

    This knox security claims to add some security to the bootloader. I would advise against doing this update until someone verify’s if it patches the loki exploit.

  • Finire

    Is this the new future for Verizon? Are we going to see updates in a timely manner?

    I seriously doubt it… This has to just be a fluke…

    • tony

      I hate to say it but they have been on a tear recently getting updates out. I have to admit they have been doing a decent job recently.

    • michael arazan

      Cheap bastards verizon is, they don’t want people using data over their network to download the update.

  • elvis

    well where is the drive that houses the installer app???

  • imnotmikal

    What are the chances Apps to SD will be added to other 4.2 phones? Or am I dumb and just missing it?

    • Trueblue711

      It’s been built in by Samsung. I’m not expecting it to appear on other Android phones anytime soon, if ever.

  • indianajo883

    Worked perfectly through my pc! thanks!

    • elvis

      how were you able to do it are u a Mac user?

      • aaron

        download samsung kies for mac, then plug in your verizon s4 and it should say there is an update. it does take a while though

  • http://www.ginnefine.net Gi_Fine

    Omg I’ve been waiting for this finally can use my sd card proper

  • Drummer62

    Is it just me? The link says you need to log in to that page. I can’t download the installer.

    • http://www.ginnefine.net Gi_Fine

      Just plug your phone into the computer and you can install it.

      • J. Chrisman Hiter

        I tried that also and still getting access denied stuff.

  • mjmellin

    I can’t get the Software Upgrade Installer to launch I don’t get prompted at all

    • Greg Chason

      do you have the developer options on? I had to turn mine off to get the installer to come up.

      • mjmellin

        I used the Samsung Kies software and it worked.

  • Jim C

    I understand that they lost root but does that mean they were unable to re-root?

  • kevin

    Just a heads up this update is also available for at&t

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      And this is new today, right? Looks like mine got it too.

  • Guest

    Surpised this made it to both Sprint and VZW before AT&T…the world is going to end.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      AT&T is notoriously slow for updates. The only one worse than AT&T is T-Mobile in terms of updating carrier-branded handsets.

      • Weber

        lol wat.
        No, man. Just, no. They may all be slow, but VZW takes the cake.
        They may be trying to turn things around, but that’s only really recently.

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          I admit I never saw Verizon’s update speed several years ago. I can only judge recently. That said…believe me, brother, AT&T is slow as molasses. Verizon got the value pack update for the GS3 out weeks ago. AT&T is still waiting. Actually they’re the only US carrier that hasn’t got it out yet. Even US Cellular and Cricket have it out at this point. AT&T’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 literally JUST got the Jelly Bean update…it was the last variant in the world to receive it. Their original GS2 I777 model (not the Skyrocket) was among the last GS2 variants in the world to receive Jelly Bean.

          T-Mobile takes the cake, though, because they are known to specifically pass on updates just because. This happened recently with the Nokia Lumia 710. Nokia made the Windows Phone 7.8 update available for the phone and T-Mobile just said “Yeah, thanks but no thanks. We won’t be allowing you to release this to our branded version of the phone.” Every other version worldwide got it. They did this on the T-Mobile G2X as well. LG released Ice Cream Sandwich for the Optimus 2X, which was a T-Mobile exclusive in the US and sold as the G2X. T-Mobile passed on the update even though LG released it for every other variant in the world.

          The thing with Verizon is that, while yes, they’re slow, you know that if an OEM makes an update available for the phone, it will eventually see the update. Verizon doesn’t have a history of flat-out passing on updates just because they don’t feel like dealing with it.

          • tony

            There is now just release update for AT&T. You were saying? LOL!!!

          • Weber

            GNex.
            That is all.

          • Blue Sun

            Xoom & GNex… That is all, for cereal.

          • n900mixalot

            oh my GAWWWWWW!!! Why did you have to REMIND me?!

            I seriously want to throw my Xoom through Motorola headquarters ‘ windows.

            WHICH I WOULD NEVER ACTUALLY DO–/me looks at NSA

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Check your phone, my AT&T GS4 just got the update.

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        Woot woot!

  • ozyman666

    My S4 repeatedly tells me that my SD card has been removed when I’m looking at photos. That’s going to be fun when I’m accessing apps on the card.

  • Ronaldo

    It will be interesting if VZW customers lose root from this update since, from all reports I’ve read, the Sprint version does not take any access away from users.

  • Bionic_Pags

    No way i download this until there is some more info out there… receiving something from Verizon is like opening your door to a gift trojan horse (not in the virus sense)… There’s always an ulterior motive with them. Formerly, Bionic_Pags

    • plastikman

      The only reason that Verizon would push this out is to keep you from bypassing the bootloader lockdown and blocking you for installing the GE firmware. Sure there are “security” patches but the number one reason it to invalidate current bypass methods.

    • Peter Memmer

      The new VRUAME7 build flashes a new bootloader that prevents you from flashing the prerelease kernel effectively preventing you from rerooting after as well.

      • plastikman

        I’M SHOCKED! /s

        Thanks for the confirmation that Verizon is a bag of dicks.

        • michael arazan

          Verizon sucks a bag of dicks

    • Bionic_Pags

      For those that gave me a thumbs down… read the update!

  • Logan Jinks

    Looks like VZW didn’t want to get shown up by the other carriers.

    Now I really hope AT&T gets their crap together and pushes this update soon.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Looks like it’s available now.

  • Chris Schmucker

    What would be the advantage of doing this through an installer app, instead of OTA?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      It’s not available OTA at this time. So if you want it, this is how you get it. :)

    • JustReboot

      most likely bandwidth, generally you would not be on vzw network with a computer/

      • Chris Schmucker

        I understand bandwidth restrictions. Makes a lot of sense if its a large file. But, from a Verizon standpoint, why not release this OTA in a staged roll-out like most updates?

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          They still haven’t released a changelog either, which is odd for them. I’m wondering if this wasn’t even supposed to really be available yet.

        • JustReboot

          Not sure on vzw’s philosophy here, maybe a little safer because of the file size to avoid corruption. Its just a guess. Regardless , I’m staying far away from this update since I’m rooted and running a custom ROM. I’ll wait till its baked in.

          • pubasnacks77

            +1 for Regarfkess, I’m using that all the time now

          • JustReboot

            U caught it b4 I edited :) nice…

          • Jordan

            Same here.

          • John Wentworth

            Always the best idea for us rooted and romed especially with the S4 and the possibility for them to patch the loki exploit that enables us to use custom roms

  • plastikman

    Do you really have to mention that you lose root? It’s an “OTA”, of course you will lose root….

    • Eric

      There are noobs out there you know…

      • plastikman

        Indeed there are noobs out there. This is an enthusiast website, the people that read it, should know that an “OTA” will kill root. Do itards have to be told that every new update will ruin their jailbreak?

        • James_75

          Being an “enthusiast” has nothing to do with how well seasoned or “noobish” a person is. This site speaks to all levels of experience which is one reason they have such a large following. Don’t forget where you come from.

        • Eric

          Jailbreak? This isn’t iOS.

          • plastikman

            I think you missed the correlation.

          • EdubE24

            I’ve read this site daily since I owned my OG Droid. And have now used an iPhone as my primary phone for close to three years. Some people just enjoy a good well run site!

    • DanSan

      curious if voodoo root keeper works. im rooted/stock but have custom recovery so i cant flash (which i dont want to anyways)

      • plastikman

        I’m sure that in a day (or 2) someone will have a CWMR flashable update :)

        • DanSan

          that would be sweet. just make a package that bakes in the new updates and nothing more lol

    • Michael Pahl

      OTA Rootkeeper fails even?

    • Sleerts

      Yea…but I think the unexpected news here is the new locked bootloader

      • plastikman

        with all the haters i’m sure i’ll get more downvotes….

        Personally I don’t think the new bootloader should be a shock to anyone. Both the S3 and the Note 2 on verizon had new bootloaders upon each new OTA.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    It’s “Mac” guys, not “MAC.”

    • Ian

      “Easy Mac”

    • imtoomuch

      Nobody cares and you have too much free time on your hands. MAC is an acronym – Macs Are Crap. Happy now?

      • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

        If DL’s aim is to be a credible source of info, the least they could do is get capitalization correct. Clearly that’s not something you care about.

      • Idon’t Know

        Your mommy likes Macs.

  • tyguy829

    if i’m not mistaken, i think it is so large because it brings the KNOX security thing

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Could very well be.

      • noc007

        I’d expect that there’s a Knox app finally in the apps list. Let us know if you see it or perhaps settings for Knox in the OS.