All about S Pen: what you can do with Samsung’s magic wand in Note10


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Erin Lawrence

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It’s perhaps the biggest differentiator among smart phones. Samsung’s Note lineup offers an included stylus or S Pen for accomplishing all kinds of tasks. If you’re new to Samsung’s phones or just the new Note10 or Note10+ you might be wondering what it can do, and if you need to use it. Consider this you Samsung S Pen primer.

What can you do with Samsung S Pen?

Right away, you’ll notice the S Pen feels very natural to use when you write with it. It doesn’t have that metal on glass, teeth-scraping feeling of old tablets and stylyses.

So do you need to use the S Pen with the Note10 or Note10+? The short answer is no; but there’s all kinds of fun and productivity reasons why you might want to.

Take notes on the screen—even when it’s off

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One handy feature, though it’s not new, is the ability to write quick notes on the screen, even if the phone’s screen is off. I absolutely love this feature and would use it all the time, to save post it notes from cluttering my life.

S Pen for note taking and editing photos and video

One of the key features of the Samsung Note10 is the Intelligent S Pen. Samsung’s onboard stylus is a true multitasking tool, letting you tap, select with precision and even write with ease. While not new, it does get more powers and it’s a nice addition to the phone overall.

The feeling of the S Pen on the screen is nice. It feels natural and comfortable, not like the metal-scraping-glass feeling of old styluses.

S Pen is a tiny remote control

The Intelligent S Pen is also a remote control which has both gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, and that provides moving coordinates to the phone. That lets you use it as almost a magic wand of sorts. Yes, this feature existed in the Note9, but it’s been augmented here.

While you could hold down the pen button to open the camera, then push the button on the side of the pen to trigger a photo, new gestures have been added in the Note 10 lineup.

Using Air Control or gestures with S Pen

The S Pen also has gesture controls, called Air Control, and all S Pen gestures require you to hold down the pen’s button to activate them. While watching media, flick the pen up or down to increase or drop the volume, or skip by swiping the pen side to side in the air.

Once you know how to use the gestures, they work pretty well, though it’s a bit of a learning curve to get the button press and swipe to all work together. Often I was left waving my hand awkwardly in the air trying to get the volume to change.

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Translate what’s on screen with S Pen

The S Pen can translate words for you if you hover the pen over them, or it can also magnify areas of the screen by hovering.

The S Pen gestures will work with other apps too like PowerPoint (you can click through slideshows or presentations), or use Samsung’s Voice Recorder and the Pen will pause and resume recording for you.

Handwriting to Text conversion

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 has a feature which converts your handwriting to text. It’s great for taking notes in class or on the go, then being able to read them (hello awful handwriting!) later, or share them without needing to translate your chicken scratches.

If you want to use the pen to write out a message and have it convert your scrawl to text, it’s simple. Open a new Message. Then tap the three dots along the top menu bar. Choose Handwriting, and it will open a window for your to write in. It’s case sensitive, meaning if you write in lower case, that’s what shows up. If you switch to capital letters, it can tell. This feature actually works really well at recognizing writing and only minor corrections might be needed, so if you flunked cursive in school don’t worry.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10: how to use Samsung S Pen : Markup, Draw, doodle & write

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The S Pen is great for a lot of things you ight otherwise use a pen and paper for; you can crop & markup screenshots, you can draw on photos, and on the new Note10 devices, you can use the S Pen to draw on or annotate your Samsung Calendar app too. You can circle specific dates or write handwritten notes on tings too.

We touched on some of the ways you can annotate photos, but there’s other ways the S Pen can help you with photography.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10: How to Use AR Doodle and AR Emoji

There are some new options with the camera that make photos and videos more fun and personalized, and in our Instagram and Snapchat world, these are bound to be popular.

AR Emoji is a feature that lets you add virtual digital stickers, emojis or other animated effects to your photo or video. When the camera recognizes a face or space, the doodles on the face will follow the face as it moves, and the doodles in the space will be fixed in the same place even if the camera moves.

To use it, launch the Camera app and tap Video or Photo on the shooting modes list. Then Tap
AR Emoji in the top right corner. Along the bottom is a list of available options.

The other feature Samsung has is AR Doodle. Remove the S Pen from it’s slot, then open the camera app. The camera will look for faces. When it detects one, you’ll see the small S Pen icon on the right edge of the screen. Tap on it and you’ll see AR Doodle is the bottom option. Tap on it and you can add drawings on your face, change colours, write messages and tonnes more. You can doodle first then record, or record up front and have the doodles get recorded as you do them.

How do I know if my app supports S Pen features?

Want to know whether an app supports Air Actions or gestures? Open the app and if you see the small S Pen bubble open up on the right hand side, you’ll know it does. Hover or Tap it with the S Pen to see what you can do.

Laser precision mouse pointer

The S Pen can be used as a mouse or a pointer on your phone too.
When you hold the S Pen near the Note10, watch for a wee dot. This works great for surfing the web since you can more easily access drop-down menus.

Take Screenshots with S Pen

The Intelligent S Pen can easily take screen shots for you. Draw a box on your screen and then you can make that your screengrab. It’s easier than trying to do a screen grab and then cropping it. Of course you can write on the screenshot before sending it too.

Samsung’s S Pen is a pretty cool tool and one that makes your phone more fun and more productive. Have you got a favourite use for the S pen phone? Post about it in the comments so we can all try it.

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