One of the key features of Samsung's Galaxy Note series is the removable S-Pen. Now, it's received a number of new upgrades, making it an integral part of the Note9's appeal and charm. No longer just a useful little extra, the S-Pen is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing it to do so much more than just doodle or take notes.
It's a remote control for your phone, and can be used in a variety of situations, from triggering your camera for a fun selfie, to skipping songs on your playlist, to changing slides in an important presentation.
The S Pen’s Bluetooth capabilities let you control the Note9 up to 10 metres away. Holding down the button on the S Pen will open the camera app and tapping the button once will snap a quick photo. When you double tap the S Pen, the camera will switch to the rear or front-facing camera. You can also set it to open your favourite apps, such as Google Chrome, WhatsApp or Facebook.
The new S Pen is very intuitive about play and stop controls. Start music or video on a service – such as YouTube – and you can pause or resume play by pressing the S Pen button at any time. This is particularly handy when you are casting a video for a group or playing music over a Bluetooth speaker … and maybe just when you’re feeling a little lazy.
Have a little fun
You can now create Live Messages, which are animated GIFs based on whatever you write or draw. Simply tap Live Message, which will pop up as an option when you take the S Pen out of the Note9, and start writing. You can choose different pen styles and effects, as well as colour and thickness, at the top left corner. On the top right, you can choose premade Live Messages or on the bottom left is a paint icon where you can select your preferred colour for the background. Alternatively, tap the middle gallery icon to add a photo from your own gallery, in case you want to write over it. Finally, on the bottom right, you can add your own AR Emoji and draw over it as well. Tap the Done icon in the top right when you’re finished, and the Live Message will be saved in your gallery. You’re able to share it on any platform that accepts GIFs.
If you’re reading an article and want to know the translation of a particular word, tap the Translate button in Air Command. At the top, you can choose which language you want to translate the text to, then simply hover the S Pen over the word to select it and see the translation (which is powered by Google Translate). If you tap on the translated word, you’ll be taken to the Google Translate app if you have it installed.
So if the S-Pen is so useful, how about keeping it charged? Each time you slide the S Pen back into its dock in the phone, it will recharge in under a minute. And you don't need to worry about losing it - it will alert you the moment it detects that your phone is moving out of range.
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