Verizon recently rolled out a new update for the Galaxy S4 both through Samsung Kies and over-the-air, pushing out a 1.8GB software upgrade that’s equal parts improved features and tighter restrictions. We’ll go into the details in a few seconds, but first heed this warning: if you’ve rooted your S4 or plan to root it in the future do NOT download this update.
If you’re already playing by Verizon’s rules and haven’t done any tampering to your smartphone then there’s no reason to ignore the new update, which should already have popped up as a notification. The latest version of the carrier’s VRUAME7 software includes Knox security services, apps-to-SD, improved touch recognition for the network’s Navigator app and a tweak to cut down on battery drain when you use the new Group Play app Samsung introduced with the S4. But wait, there’s more! You also get added stability for the Story Teller and Camera apps, hovering in email, etc.
The bad news, though, is that Verizon has cracked down on a popular exploit used to root and unlock the Galaxy S4, and once you update there’s no going back, with users reporting on the XDA Developers Forum that you won’t be able to flash back to earlier versions of the mobile software; those folks at Verizon sure are sneaky. AT&T and Sprint also released similar updates in the past week, but it’s unclear if those also patch current rooting exploits.