Samsung updates Galaxy S 4 firmware: Apps on SD, HDR video, more

Samsung has begun pushing out a firmware update for the Galaxy S 4, addressing complaints about limited storage space along with fixing a display glitch that led some users to see purple smearing. The new firmware, currently being released in Germany for the Galaxy S 4 GT-I9505 – the Snapdragon 600 powered variant – is a hefty one, weighing in at almost 366MB, but will update the smartphone to run apps from microSD card.

Samsung had previously been slammed by consumer watchdogs for the amount of storage space its preloaded apps and services took up on the Galaxy S 4. On the 16GB version of the phone, the most affordable model, the out-of-the-box bloat could leave just 9.15GB of spare room for apps and content, some users complained.

Samsung argued that the Galaxy S 4's microSD card slot meant that storage could be expanded by up to 64GB, but there remained a limit on applications, which could only be installed to the internal space, not to a removable chip. However, that's been addressed with this new firmware, and now apps can be moved to an SD card. The actual used internal storage decreases too, though only by a small amount, freeing up the available space to 9.23GB.

It's not the only change, either. Some Galaxy S 4 owners had reported seeing purple smearing when scrolling on their phone, which Samsung says it has addressed, and there's also a new higher-legibility mode for the display.

The camera app has been tweaked, with new firmware along with the ability to record HDR video, while Smart Pause gets a toggle control. There's a new semi-transparent status bar, and new iconography in the settings page, along with extra information on the secure boot status added to the About Phone page.

The firmware is being pushed out both OTA – where a WiFi connection is recommended – and via Samsung's Kies app, though we'll have to wait a little longer for a version for the octacore Galaxy S 4 GT-I9500 which uses Samsung's own Exynos chip. That, and availability in other countries, is expected to come soon.

VIA: SamMobile