Rise of the Phablet - Galaxy Note 3

Samsung continues to bring features that initially launched on the Galaxy S5 to its other high-end devices. Following the update of the Galaxy S5, today it’s time for the international Note 3 to begin receiving Download Booster, Kids Mode, and Knox, as part of an OTA update.

The update is currently available for the unlocked UK version of the Snapdragon 800-powered Galaxy Note 3, with additional markets to follow over the coming days. The OTA weighs in at about 185MB and brings the firmware number to version N9005XXUFNF4.

Download Booster (a feature that some carriers have chosen to disable on their own Galaxy S5 versions) lets you amplify the speed of your data transfer by harnessing your Wi-Fi and cellular connection at the same time. In practice, this can help you speed through a lengthy download, though we highly recommend you keep an eye on your data allowance. You can learn more details about Download Booster in our feature focus.

If you have small children, you’ll appreciate the new Kids Mode coming to the Note 3. The feature replaces the normal interface of the phone with a kids-friendly, colorful interface that restricts access to only certain apps and features. It’s a feature that we wished more devices would have, and it’s good to see Samsung expanding its availability to more devices. The OTA actually brings an installer for Kids Mode, rather than the actual feature, so you will have to install it before you can use it.

Finally, Knox 2 brings some new features meant to fortify Android against attackers, via features like Key Storage encryption keys management, dual APNs, and real-time monitoring of processes that attempt to access the OS kernel. There’s nothing sexy here, but if you use Note 3 in a work environment, you might find the OTA very useful.

If you have a Note 3, keep an eye on the Software Updates option in the About Phone section of your device or trying plugging it in to Kies to manually check for the update.

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