My Verizon backed Samsung Galaxy S4 got a system update early this morning. I had hoped that it was the Android 4.3 update, which I am anxious to receive since it supports Galaxy Gear connectivity. Alas, no, it was just a cruddy build update that Verizon is using to placate a number of customers who bitched about the Samsung Optical Reader app not being available on its initial Galaxy S4 release. That's not to say that there aren't a number of bug fixes and feature enhancements in the 150mb update, but, it's all minor stuff. The Samsung Optical Reader is what stands out the most in this update. And, I have to ask: Is it really necessary?
On the surface, it sounds like a neat little app. You take a picture of a business card with your rear camera and the Samsung Optical Reader puts the information on the card into a contact on your phone. It will also translate printed foreign language phrases for you. I was interested enough to launch the app so that I could test it out. The second you launch it, though, it tells you that it needs to download more files in order to run. And, for that, you have to sign in to the Samsung App Store. Great. Yet another lame attempt by Samsung to force customers into using the Samsung App Store. I haven't logged in to it since I bought my Galaxy S4 and don't ever plan to again. Besides, Google Goggles does everything that the Samsung Optical Reader claims to do and more. I'm told by some of my fellow Samsung enthusiasts that the Samsung Optical Reader has a better UI than Google Goggles, but, that's not enough of a motivation to get me to sign in to the Samsung App Store in order to find out.