Since the first Samsung Galaxy Note launched back in 2011, the S Pen has been the key differentiator. The advanced stylus allows users to get more done on their phone, making the device more than a screen for content consumption but also for creating and doing.
Samsung user surveys show that Note users truly see the value of the S Pen. More than 90 percent of Note8 users said they are active S Pen users and nearly three-quarters bought the phone specifically for the S Pen.
Designed to feel like a real pen (complete with a subtle pencil-on-paper sound as you write), it’s great for writing, drawing and navigating your phone. If you are just getting a new Galaxy Note9 or simply want to learn how to get more out of the S Pen, here are nine smart tricks:
1. Just Start Writing
Writing with the S Pen is as easy as jotting down your thoughts on a scrap of paper. There’s no need to unlock the device; simply take your S Pen out and start writing with screen-off notetaking. You can easily add additional pages to accommodate more notes, and just tap Share or Save when you’re done. Screen off memo is a convenient way to quickly capture action items or big ideas.
2. Screen Capture and Annotate
Annotating documents, images or anything else you’re looking at on your smartphone screen is easy with the S Pen. To do this, take out the S Pen or tap the pen icon on the right side of the screen to open the Air Command menu. In this menu, tap Screen Write. This will immediately take a screen capture of the content you were reviewing and open the annotation tools. You can now add notes with the S Pen, crop and share via email or your preferred messaging app.
3. Convert Your Handwriting
If you are sick of using two thumbs to type up an email on your phone, take out the S Pen and write by hand, and have your handwriting instantly converted to text. To use this feature, open a new email and tap the text-to-handwriting icon in the onscreen keyboard, which will open up a writing pad at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see your written thoughts converted to text as you write.
4. Smart Select
If you need to extract an image from a report and paste it into an email, Smart Select has you covered. This is another S Pen feature accessed in the Air Command menu (which pops up when you take out the S Pen or tap the pen icon with the S Pen out). Open the document you want to extract content from and hit Smart Select in the Air Command menu. You can now select or even lasso the content you want and quickly save or share. There is even an option to extract text from the selected content.
5. Live Message
This is a fun way to bring your messages to life by creating an animated GIF. It can be especially useful as a way to explain something, like directions on a map. To do this, tap Live Message in the Air Command menu. You can either just start drawing or writing on a plain background, or open a background image and write on that. In the case of map directions, open a screen capture of the map, add your directions with the S Pen and then share as an animated GIF.
The Translate feature lets you instantly translate from one language to another simply by hovering the S Pen over a word or phrase. This works even when you are viewing a photo, leveraging optical character recognition (OCR). Open the document or photo and then tap Translate in the Air Command menu. At the top of the screen, you can set the languages you want to translate from and to. Then simply hover the S Pen over the words. To hear the pronunciation, tap the speaker icon that appears.
The Magnify feature, which is also accessed via the Air Command menu, lets you get a closer view of content on your screen by hovering your S Pen over it. You can adjust the level of magnification — up to 300 percent — in the widget that appears at the top of the screen.
8. Progress Slides
These last two tips leverage the new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities built into the Galaxy Note9’s S Pen. With this connectivity, the button on the side of the S Pen can be used as a remote control in certain apps. To explore this functionality, go to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen > S Pen Remote. Here you can view and customize what will happen when you press the S Pen button.
One great feature with the S Pen button is with Microsoft Powerpoint and Hancom Office Editor. A single press of the S Pen button can advance slides in a slideshow, while a double press goes to the previous slide — especially useful if you’ve connected your phone to a conference room display for a presentation. To use the S Pen as a slide clicker, just open PowerPoint and start your slideshow. The supercapacitor that powers the S Pen’s BLE functionality can take on even the most robust presentations, allowing you up to 200 clicks before you’ll need to put the pen back for a quick, 40-second recharge.
9. Take a Photo or Video
If you’re taking a group photo, the S Pen can also be used to take the picture without you having to be physically in contact with the phone. This can also be useful if you’re taking a photo in low light and don’t want to cause blur when you touch the phone to activate the shutter. Simply set up the Note9 to take the picture, take out the S Pen and get in position. Click the S Pen’s button to get the perfect shot — up to 200 takes!
The S Pen is a powerful tool for being more productive with your Note9. With the addition of BLE connectivity, it’s now not just an advanced stylus, but a smart remote, too.
Learn how the Note9 with its new S Pen can power your mobility, your productivity and your business.