Until a few years ago, the S Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Note series was merely a stylus. That changed with the Galaxy Note 9 when the company introduced Bluetooth on the pen. Fast forward to 2019, the S Pen of the Galaxy Note 10 not only has an accelerometer but also packs a gyroscope.
And needless to say, all these means that the features and customization tricks have increased many folds. So, yeah, a swish in the air and the job will be taken care of. But, S Pen isn't Harry Potter's wand.
Since Samsung has continued to heap features on the S Pen, we thought of rounding all the tricks and the customization features of the S Pen, both old and new. These tricks will not only let you get the most out of this new-age stylus but will also help you be more productive.
So, without further ado, let's get started.
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1. Control the Screen like a Boss
This has to be one of the best features of the new S Pen. The new gesture-based Air Actions let you do plenty of quirky things like changing the camera modes, zooming on the pictures, controlling playback on YouTube and Spotify, or skipping through songs and videos.
However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you're an avid reader of long articles on Chrome, you can even scroll through the page slowly with the nifty S Pen.
To change the camera modes, open the camera, tap on the S Pen's button and swish the stylus like a wand in the vertical direction.
Similarly, for media playback, a horizontal gesture plays the next video, while a vertical gesture changes the volume levels.
You can know all about this through the S Pen settings. Go to Settings > Advanced features > S Pen and select Air Actions.
Here, tap on any of the apps under the App actions section, and you'll be able to see all the supported gestures and their related actions.
So, the next time you sit down to watch a show on YouTube, take out the S Pen and let the stylus do the magic.
Pro Tip: You can also access Air Actions via the Settings cog on the Air Command menu.
2. Long-Press Action
By default, pressing the button on the S Pen opens up the Camera. But if you ask me, the camera shortcut is already assigned to the double-press action of the Side key. So why not use this action for something more meaningful?
For starters, you can assign an app like Gmail or your favored note-taking app to the long-press action of the S Pen. So that instead of searching for the app, all you need to do is long-press the button. Exciting, right?
Making the change is as easy as 1-2-3. Head over to Air actions and tap on the 'Hold down Pen button to' option. Select your most-frequented app from the list of apps, and you're good to go.
3. Convert Handwriting to Text
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) has been part of apps like Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote for quite some time. This year, it has made its way to the Samsung Notes app and the built-in keyboard of the Note 10.
For the Notes app, write a series of words or phrases in fairly legible handwriting, and single-tap on the words with your fingers. The converted text will be there at the top of your notes.
Alternatively, you can click the Translate text icon at the bottom ribbon to well, convert your text.
When it comes to the keyboard, the new Samsung keyboard is quite apt in converting handwriting into text — be it writing a series of WhatsApp messages or scribbling short keywords into Google Search.
However, you'll need to enable the feature in the keyboard before proceeding. Open the Settings page of the keyboard app and toggle the switch for Pen detection.
Did You Know: You can also switch to high-contrast keyboard.
4. Add Shortcuts to the Air Command Menu
The Air Command has a lot of unwanted apps by default. After all, it isn't every day that you'll use the AR Doodle feature or the Glance feature.
The best bet is to replace a few of these apps with ones that you use regularly. For example, if you use the S Pen on apps like Chrome or Evernote more, you can easily replace the defaults ones.
To do so, go to the S Pen settings and tap on Shortcuts. Choose the new apps from the panel on your right. That's it. Hello, new S Pen.
Pro Tip: Use the 'Write in calendar' feature to scribble notes about upcoming meetings and appointments.
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5. Fleet Through the Gallery
Speaking of Glance, did you know that you can take a glance at all your videos and thumbnails without even opening them? Well, with the Galaxy Note 10, it seems it is indeed possible.
Open the Gallery app and hover over an image (or a video) with the S Pen, and a tiny thumbnail of the image will pop-up.
Next, hit the image to open in full-screen mode. Gesture up to see the image details. To switch over to the next image, make a horizontal gesture.
6. Edit Video like a Pro
Have you ever tried trimming a video on the phone? If yes, you must know how difficult it is, all thanks to our big fingers. The S Pen makes these things easier by giving you finer and precise points to work with. Whether it's trimming the ends of a video, joining multiple clips, or in adding the transitions, this tiny Pen eases a lot of things.
And the cherry on top is that the built-in editing suite of the Galaxy Note 10 is excellent and packs a lot of features such as Music, Trim, CC, Filters, etc.
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7. Fun with AR Doodle
Last but not least, don't forget to have fun with the AR Doodle feature. This cool S Pen feature uses the camera to help you draw on pictures and videos, and is gold for Instagram lovers. From funny stickers to cool doodles, you can do a lot.
To open AR Doodle, open the video mode of your camera and tap on the icon at the upper-right corner.
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
The S Pen is one of the primary features that make the Galaxy Note devices stand out from the rest. And with the Note 10 and Note 10+, it's no different. All you need to do is make a habit of using it whenever possible, and slowly things will fall into place.
Next up: Confused between Samsung Internet Beta and Google Chrome? Read the detailed comparison below to find the right app.