The new S Pen on the GALAXY Note 3: all you need to know
28th Oct 2013 | 16:35
The Write Stuff: new S Pen tips and tricks explained
For some people, there's nothing better than good old-fashioned handwriting. But why not take that handwriting and make it work intelligently with technology?
With this in mind, Samsung has ensured that the GALAXY Note 3 and S Pen work together more intuitively than ever.
Not only is gliding your S Pen across the screen now an even smoother experience, but the new S Pen has a bunch of awesome new functions to show off and plenty of space to show them in . You'll wonder how you ever got by without it.
The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 screen – made for the S Pen
The Samsung GALAXY Note 3's 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen is perfectly designed for the new S Pen, allowing for some seriously efficient multitasking. Plus, the new S Pen itself is impressively light and comfortable to grip, and offers a tonne of nifty tools alongside.
Accessing these couldn't be simpler. As soon as you take out the S Pen, the Air Command menu will pop up on screen with five options to choose from: Action Memo, Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window.
Hover the S Pen above the screen and move it across to highlight each in turn. If you already have the S Pen in hand, click its button and the menu will open again.
S Note – better than ever
S Note is one of the Samsung GALAXY Note 3's core applications. From taking lecture notes to scribbling down the week's shopping list, the S Pen and S Note combine to take full advantage of the Note 3's impressive display.
When you're done scribbling, Selection mode lets you circle letters and transform them into text, as the GALAXY Note 3 cleverly recognises your handwriting.
Or if you fancy it, you can hit the Insert icon on the bottom left to throw in voice memos, images, videos, Scrapbook cuttings and maps.
Have an urgent phone number or lunch order you need to write down fast? Action Memo is on hand for those moments of urgency that don't quite warrant opening up S Note.
The pen and eraser will be all you need for action-oriented tasks, but things can also get really clever. By clicking on "Link memos to actions", you can store your handwritten notes as information in your GALAXY Note 3.
For example, write the first line of an address and hit "Link to action" and then hit the map icon, and the GALAXY Note 3 will open up Google Maps to find the location. Or you could enter a phone number and tap to call it.
Want to add a new contact name? You can do that too. And of course, you can also save your Action Memos and open them up at a later date.
Next up is Scrapbooker, that lets you quickly capture the moments that inspire you from both the Note 3 and the real world.
For example, if you're browsing the internet and spot an image you want to keep, just select Scrapbooker from the Air Command menu, draw an outline around the image, and the GALAXY Note 3 will cut it out for you along with a link back to the website it came from so you can return to the source of inspiration at will.
You'll have the option to add a memo note and tags before you save the cutting. You can also organise your Scrapbook cuttings into different folders, plus it's easy to share the content. You can also use Scrapbooker to collect your favourite YouTube videos, with the option to play them back within Scrapbook.
When you're viewing an item in Scrapbook, hit the Share icon at the top and select to share as either Image and Text, or as an SCC Scrapbook file to show off your creativity to other Note 3 users.
Fancy defacing something? Simply tap Screen Write and the GALAXY Note 3 will take a shot of whatever's on the screen at the moment. You'll then be put into an editor where you can use the S Pen to write and draw on the image.
Annotating a map, for example, is just one handy way that Screen Write can help make life easier if you're trying to explain to friends where to meet. Plus, with a selection of colours and brush, pen and pencil styles, as well as the ability to crop and rotate, you can doodle until your heart's content and then save the picture to the Note 3's gallery.
The S Finder is the GALAXY Note 3's super smart search tool, which will look through all of your stored content at super high speed (thanks to that zippy processor). Just tap in a word or phrase and results will be returned quickly, in an organised fashion.
You can search by time, file type or tag, too. Amazingly, S Finder can even detect handwriting in S Note, plus it will even go beyond the GALAXY Note 3 itself to search and display results from the web.
Pen Window is a multitasker's dream. The feature lets you draw a window on the Note 3's screen and then select an app to fill it. What's more, you can have numerous windows open at once (well, as many your brain can handle at any one time!).
The GALAXY Note 3 comes with eight pre-installed Pen Window compatible apps for easy productivity without distracting you from the task at hand: Calculator, Clock, YouTube, Phone, Contacts, ChatON, Hangouts and Internet.
Direct Pen Input
The GALAXY Note 3 gives you the option to make all your data entries with the S Pen, which you'll find makes things a lot faster.
Go into Settings and select S Pen, and you'll see a number of options. Turning on Direct Pen Input and the handwriting pad on the text input area will appear when the S Pen is detected.
All you need to do then is hover the S Pen over the input box to make the tappable icon appear and scrawl away instead of tapping away with your digits.
The days of needing expensive tools for tightly cropped images are over. The new Easy Clip helps you to be both smarter and more creative when cutting out pictures.
Something catches your eye? Simply hold down the S Pen's button and draw around it. Once it's highlighted you'll have the option to change the shape of the cutout into a circle or square to get a more exact fit if needed.
The final option is the best of all, however: cutting around the main object and giving you the option to either add or remove it from the whole crop. Then you can either share it or add to your Scrapbook.
Essential apps for the S Pen
There are plenty of apps for the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 that are perfectly built for the S Pen. For example, the new S Note can be synced with Evernote for when you want to transfer a memo or a list across to pick it up on your computer later.
Then there's Samsung's own SketchBook for GALAXY app, which can produce much more than your average sketching app once you've got your S Pen in hand. Not only do simple doodles come with a high level of customisation options, but you can even import layers from Gallery or straight from the camera.
Jumping around Flipboard meanwhile, is never smoother than when you're using the S Pen to navigate all the latest news and blogs.
Armed with the S Pen, the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 is a powerful companion. Not only does it offer a list of compelling features, the S Pen taps into an enhanced way of interacting with your GALAXY Note 3.
That's why it's essential to make sure you're getting the most out of the experience. So, hopefully, after reading these tips, you'll be a master of Samsung's new S Pen.