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Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Set to Receive an Update – Improves Connectivity, Preloads Bloatware, and Fixes Lots of Bugs?

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 1.13.37 PM

According to Verizon support, their variant of the Galaxy Note 3 is due to receive an update in the very near future. The support docs appear to be poorly updated, as they include an old October date and no new build number, but the list of changes has certainly been tweaked. The last update that rolled out in early November only included two fixes, however, this new update addresses at least 10 items. Verizon is also claiming that this update was approved on 12/9.

First, users will have to welcome in 4 new bloatware apps once they update:  MyInfoZone widget, VMware, Verizon Support & Protection, and Verizon Cloud. After you get over that bundle of mess, you’ll find fixes for call waiting, email sync, Bluetooth audio after calls, more reliable Hotspot, less crashes in the Samsung keyboard, and more. Verizon and Samsung also attempted to improve connectivity an sound quality further.

The full changelog is below.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 1.16.31 PM

Should we find out more (like the build number or if this is different than the update from November), we’ll be sure to update this post.

  • zmyr88

    Drops signal strength!. Disables network selection menu. Disables wifi tether glitch. Causes samsung keyboard issue. Does not play nice with downgrade … radio and baseband update.

  • Guest

    This is why we use CyanogenMod.

  • Rich

    I just did this update a few hours ago and now my phones acting up. Phone is freezing up when trying to reply to emails in my yahoo email account. Phone is also extremely slow to respond. I’ve already tried powering it off and restarting it. The problem is still there. This is VERY aggravating!! Especially when it was working fine! Anyone else having this problem???

  • Kojack

    Just got the update about 2 hrs ago now my phone is acting up. Not as responsive as it was before and it freezes up. Damn you Samsung!

  • Brandon Smith

    This is the work around for the Verizon update for Note 3 / S 4 4.3 android. Free hotspot, Wifi, Foxfi, mobile hotspot!!!!

    Instructions: http://youtu.be/MjOSumqhQjw

    1. Download buy FOXFI install version 4.14.1 or latest.

    2. Setup pick Wifi, choose pattern, etc.

    3. Enable Verizon Hotspot manually.

    4. Hold Home Button down and pull up foxfi app pre started

    5. Start Foxfi… and should all be working!.

    • Jonathan

      Does the third-party widget bug still work? Where you add a hotspot toggle widget to your home screen, then you enable the hotspot, and just hit tap the home button when the subscription popup shows.

  • Maurice Jones

    Hello GN3 owner’s I’m new to this and just wondering will the new update coming be the new operating system kit kat

  • Mike H

    I noticed that the landscape keyboard is a more manageable size now after the update, with some extra space on the edges so your thumbs don’t have to cramp up on your hands while you type.

  • Mike Wilson

    It still works just keep getting annoying message everytime I plug into my laptop. “your device’s current firmware version is not supported to update firmware!!!WTF!

  • Mike Wilson

    this update broke my note 3

  • Augustin

    Just updated. I have been having issues with my hotspot workaround (non hotspot subscriber). Foxfi appears to work though.

    • RobTheIcon

      Only thing I don’t like about Foxfi is it forces you to create a pattern or pin number to unlock your phone and even after I used Foxfi, couldn’t go back to just swipe to unlock.

  • MrBigFeathers

    Just updated. Hopefully this fixes the Samsung keyboard not remembering custom words.

  • RobTheIcon

    Looks like the “Mobile Hotspot Reliability Improvement” has indeed killed off free WiFi hotspot :(

  • Mitchman

    All the new crapware can be turned off!

  • RaptorOO7

    The update is now available. Since I didn’t root my GN3 (first time not rooting) I opted to d/l and go with it. Hopefully it does address some of the quirks I have been experiencing lately.

    • Mitchman

      I am downloading it as well right now, unfortunately I don’t think I am in a Band 4 area right now to try it out.

    • RobTheIcon

      Thanks Raptor, installing now and good to know all the crapware can be disabled. I wonder if the wifi hotspot glitch still works…

    • hkklife

      Thanks Raptor. My reception seems to be improved a tad already in my usual test scenario (concrete building basement with no windows) and, more importantly, my LTE speeds are now blazing fast thanks to the band 4 support. I will worry about the bloatware later.

  • Paul Christopher

    I have some hardware hang ups and app crashes. Hope this fixes it or I will be forced to swap. There are times where even my touch screen fails to respond.

  • Mitchman
  • locknessmunster

    Hopefully they fixed the wifi connectivity. Enough of this garbage

  • DC_Guy

    When are they going to add ISIS support? I mean I’ll use ISIS until we get Kit Kat and can use Google Wallet. Also, I hope this update enables the AWS band.

  • HryPop

    After 3 hrs on the phone Verizon just earned another huge mistrust score over their MAX program. While processing my order for a Note 3, yes I will regret it I am sure, I was offered the MAX program of 6GB /$30 and when I went to pay they had a huge website error that would not accept my payment. Moments later after having to restore my order the MAX program was not available. An hour of arguing about the offer and finally they agreed it was offered and it will be honored; Flim flam gang of corporations.

    • flosserelli

      That whole ordeal should have been a signal to you.

      • HryPop

        I know though I do get a 20% discount that I pay for with every interaction I have with them.

  • Chippah

    VZW Note 3 Development is a embarrassing JOKE. Good luck with good roms and Kernels suckers.
    ha G2 scene is the shizzz!

  • Matt Hanes

    “Mobile Hotspot reliability has been improved” means the Verizon purchase prompt can no longer be bypassed. That’s what happened when the S4 was updated.

  • Arcospark

    Any KitKat news for G N 3? Meow….?

  • Jack

    This better enable LTE Band 4. The Note 3 has a category 4 LTE radio capable of 150 Mbps, and connecting to Band 4. But for some reason Verizon doesn’t have it enabled yet.

  • ScottyByrd

    Too bad this will not fix the battery issues. Hopefully the connectivity its talking about is the flaky WiFi.

    • Jeremy Gross

      how could the note 2 reported to be really good, but note 3 is really bad?

      • hkklife

        All I know is the Note 3 is leaps and bounds better than my old GS3 but nowhere near as good as a coworker’s Note 2. I do prefer the Note 3 formfactor drastically over the Note 2’s.

        • Jeremy Gross

          i meant in regards to battery life

          • hkklife

            I was speaking in regards to battery life too. My Note 3’s battery life is much better than my GS3’s but not as good as a coworker’s Note2. I am really hoping this update adds Band 4 support as well as improving battery life, connection drops and the indexing bug.

        • Sporttster

          Not sure what you’re talking about. Guy at work upgraded from a Note 2 and loves the N3…..

          • jboogie1289

            Same here. No issues or battery woes. Guess I’m one of the fortunate ones.

      • rggarrison

        I’ve got the Note 2 and absolutely love it. I’ve never experienced any of the lag with Touchwiz that people always mention on here. I bought the Note 3 when Amazon had the pricing glitch, and I just didn’t care for it. I really LOVED the form and look of it, but to me, it just didn’t seem like much of an upgrade. The camera on the Note 2 is better in my opinion as well. I only used the Note 3 for about a week, so I didn’t really notice any battery life issues. I eneded up keeping my Note 2. I’m going to use it for a while.

    • Mike Hilal

      Yours might be defective wrt battery issues. I have 15 hours of life even when pounding on the device. 20+ if I use it sparingly. LTE only, mind you. Wifi mixed in makes for 18 hours of heavy use and a full 24 hours on light use.

      • ScottyByrd

        Ive swapped one out already. A lot of people are having the same battery issues. On the Note 2 Id get six hours of on screen time at max brightness. On the Note 3 with the same apps, if not less, I am lucky to make it past 4 hours and thats with 75% brightness instead of max.

        • Mike Hilal

          You’re the first I’ve heard of

          • natester

            I just swapped mine out today (picked up original on first day of release). Had the same issues with poor battery. Noticed the new one I have is a minor hardware update. Hoping it helps. My battery problems seem to be from poor signal. I had the note 2 and my co worker across my office still has there’s. I compared reception and they get 1-2 bars more then me sitting the phones next to each other. I am hoping the swap helps.

          • Benjamin Zachary

            Mine wasnt great, either , funny thing I turned OFF the battery saver and it started lasting longer… I noticed when I was using the device with the battery saver on the phone would get really hot. I disabled it and now I get 12-15 hours on a typical day. My Note2 with custom rom got over a day, so Im excited to see what comes down the pipe.

    • Scott Niemczyk

      I must have a bad one too. I get terrible battery life. My phone will drop 15 to 20 percen just browsing the Internet

  • Skrewee Lewee

    But no Kit Kat… Dammit.

  • Feed Jake

    I love the GN3. Great experience. Haven’t rooted or any of that. Until I see an unlocked bootloader, I’m not too concerned with the rest. But the issues I’ve been having are weird. When songs change the audio cuts out and I have to pause and restart the song. And when I get a call, the front sensor doesn’t wake the screen when I pull it away from my face. Afraid it’s a defective device, but I ordered during the weekend unlimited glitch, which was a while ago now. (or at least it feels like it.)

    • Tim242

      There won’t be a boot loader unlock. The S4 boot loader was never unlocked. However, you can use safe strap on the Note 3, and flash away.

    • Jason Smith

      I have the audio cut out issue as well… drives me nuts!

      • Feed Jake

        Glad to see I’m not the only one. Misery loves company. Can’t figure out if it’s a hardware or software thing due to the fact that I get a pop sound when songs change and the audio doesn’t cut out. So maybe the line isn’t keeping a strong enough signal?

        • Jason Smith

          If it was hardware, and it was truly losing the connection, I’d think that the player (for me, google music) would pause. But it doesn’t. it thinks it’s still playing. Seems softwarish to me, but I guess that’s just speculation. I haven’t noticed it happen when I haven’t been using the headphone jack. For me it’s right in the middle of a track. Maybe it’s not the same issue.

    • bassman418

      Safe Strap is awesome. Everything you need. Keep your stock rom and add up to 4 more. TWRP for back ups and flashing. I love the fact I can jump to another rom just by rebooting unlike on my Note 2.

      • Feed Jake

        I’ve read up on Safe Strap. Still seems a little wonky from what I’ve read. The root method doesn’t seem real clean either. The lack of roms has been disappointing as well. I figured with such a popular device, that there’d be at least marginal support. Especially with the developer’s model being released. Maybe it’ll pick up soon. Fingers crossed at least.

        • Alix8821

          Beans ROM & CkeanROM… Don’t need any other TW-Based options do you? Obv to each their own. But, I’m thrilled I Rooted my Note 3. Was great, now amazing

    • Evo X

      I had the same issue with the music… Turn off the equalizer on Google music.. That will fix the problem. It did for me

  • N3

    It’s a trap!

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Hoping this will fix the “phone won’t wake” issue that requires a battery pull or calling yourself from another line. Still feeling like the Note2 was superior.

    • Mike Hilal

      I dont have this issue, or any of the listed on the “fix”. The only issue I’ve got is getting the “your internet connection is unstable message” when there is no issue with wifi whatsoever.

      • Art Vandelay

        I also had the “your internet connection is unstable message” constantly. It turned out that it was Adware Plus causing it. Uninstalled and those messages went away. I use Adaway now.

  • Dave

    Couldn’t be happier about returning my GN3 and just sticking with my GN2. Battery life is leaps and bounds better and the performance difference is negligible from what I experienced.

    • flosserelli

      Same here. My N3 battery life was abysmal. I had to bump charge it during the day (every day) to make it last past 6pm, which was rare with my N2. Also, I didn’t like the fact that the DE sold out within minutes and Samsung apparently releases only 20 or so DEs every 3-4 weeks. I sold my N3 for almost what I paid for it and went back to my N2. I was running Beans’ rom for months and finally decided to try something else (Carbon) and I couldn’t be happier.

      • Dave

        Ditto here. We’re getting down voted by disappointed GN3 owners. LoL.

  • 213ninja

    another root buster no doubt…hopefully chainfire’s root protection FTW again.

    • dazz1996

      is there a webpage to get this chainfire’s root protection?

      • 213ninja

        it’s a feature of the SuperSU app by Chainfire. It’s called ‘Survival Mode’. I’m pretty sure you have to have the pro version but well worth it imo.

        • dazz1996

          thanks

        • Mike Hilal

          Better go get that

  • Mitchman

    This kind of update makes me nervous – I haven’t had any issue listed up there with my Note 3.

    • Adrynalyne

      RTM Note 3 had garbage call quality. I’ve also had a lot of app crashes…wouldn’t surprise me if the keyboard was doing it.

    • sk3litor

      I’ve had the keyboard and handwriting issues but my buddy who works the Samsung department at best buy fixed it by wiping the cache

  • T4rd

    Meanwhile the Note 2 is still on the same 4.1 OS that it shipped with over a year ago.

    • hfoster52

      No there was an update….. 4.1.1 -> 4.1.2

      • T4rd

        Hence why I said “4.1”, not 4.1.1. ;-)

        • hfoster52

          My Sarcasm didn’t come through on that comment. :)

    • Dave

      The change log didn’t do all that much. I have no issues with mine and I really don’t think 4.3 is a massive upgrade to the average user. Just my opinion.

      • T4rd

        I’m hoping trim in 4.3 will help the performance of the Note 2 a lot. Mine gets really laggy occasionally and is virtually unusable while updating apps, it’s very annoying. I’ve noticed this on almost all Android phones, but on my wife’s GS4 on 4.3, it barely lags at all while updating apps..

  • Jake

    will it hurt if i hit Turn Off on the Verizon apps. It seems to uninstall them.

    • Ian

      Won’t hurt quite as much as the beatdown state is fixin’ to put on the hawks this Friday. :)

      Gonna be a great game, looking forward to it.

      • Jake

        lol i doubt it. Will be fun to watch.

    • Adrynalyne

      Nope.

      • Jake

        Then idk why people complain about them lol. At least u can get rid of them.

        • Adrynalyne

          You can’t get rid of all of them that way, unfortunately.

          Support and Protection, Hotspot, and VoiceMail will not disable.

          • Mike Hilal

            Root and install TiBackup. You can uninstall support and Voicemail. Hotspot is just reskinned stock with another icon and a subscription check. FoxFi works perfectly if you follow the directions they have up in the play store.

          • Adrynalyne

            I know. The point was to explain to Jake as to why people complain.

          • Mike Hilal

            Ah, I see. Carry on.

          • Sporttster

            Anything I don’t like I just freeze on Tibu……simple and safer than unistalling…

          • Mike Hilal

            I’d happily pay $5/mo to avoid all the verizon bloat. They’d never offer that as an option though.

  • Adrynalyne

    Verizon Support and Protection isn’t new bloat…just updated bloat.

    • Thomas

      Yep. Already on device.

      • michael arazan

        VMware sounds like verizon’s own personal malware to track every thing you do or imput to your phone. I’d keep an eye on the data usage for that, unless they blocked it out of the os somehow. Wonder if Verizon cloud is going to automatically start uploading your stuff without you knowing. Verizon is the only carrier that keeps 3 months of all your data in their files for some odd reason, when att, sprint, &t-mo only keep some stuff for a couple weeks to a month. Can only imagine the outrageous prices Verizon would want for cloud storage, probably blocks Google Drive from your phone like they tried to do with wallet.

        • Varucell

          Um VMware huge company. http://www.vmware.com

          • Benjamin Zachary

            VMware announced they would have vm for droid and iphones last year. Its to handle the BYOD enterprise. When you have a phone on an exchange server, and the person leaves you have to wipe the phone. Well this upsets the employee who has to rebuild their entire phone. the new platform allows you to have android within android so you can wipe that image without consequences.

  • KPunk

    I just received Kitkat 4.4.2 on nexus 5!

  • ckj

    Might be an AWS update. G2 was rumored to be receiving an update soon too. Too early for Kit Kat. Hopefully enabling AWS support.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Where’s KitKat?

    • T4rd

      C’mon now.. you know the answer to that. =p

      • hfoster52

        Yeah maybe April or when your contract is up for renewal for a new phone. :)

    • Haroon Dar

      When the planets align on the eve of a full moon Verizon will unearth one update it seems worthy for one device and one device alone unless your motorola then u get to skip all the bs and update in a timely fashion but other then that welcome to THE VERIZON LIFE

  • hfoster52

    So now hopefully this update is what Samsung was waiting for before they updated the Note 2 and get that out.

    • Dave

      I’ll wait before I update mine, it runs so great I’d hate to screw up my performance or battery life.

      • hkklife

        My radio performance is MUCH better than before. Scrolling in Chrome seems a tad smoother. Battery is still dropping 1% per minute when web browsing just like before so nothing’s changed there. Might as well go ahead and install it, especially if you are in an AWS market.

      • neil

        Got the update and it totally screwed up my battery life. Trying to figure out a fix still.

    • Justin

      The Verizon Galaxy note2 has a 4.3 leak, build jss15j.I605vruemj9 and kernel 3.0.31 built Thursday Nov 19th

      • Adrynalyne

        What is the actual build date though? The kernel was likely built separately.

      • Justin

        This is supposedly the ota that the guy on xda got. Verizon galaxy s3 4.3 build is jss15j.i535vrucmj3 supposedly too as a different guy got it on xda.

    • Justen DeBowles

      Beans has a VZW Note 2 4.3 rom out already on XDA. Flashed it this morning and thus far it’s been pretty good. It’s the official OTA for the vzw Note 2 with a few KNOX features removed.

    • michael arazan

      The gs3 was guaranteed for the 22nd of Nov and Note 2 was the 29th by Samsung. Guess they don’t have the power over Verizon to do that. Was thinking it had something to do with the faulty 4.3 updates that the European versions had, but ATT 4.3 for the gs3 and Note had no problems from users reporting at AC. Wish they would skip over it and go straight to 4.4 for all their phones. Other sites reporting the GS4 and Note 3 will get 4.4 in the first quarter of next year, allegedly January, and the rest right after.