IMPORTANT: Please make sure to read Part 1 of this series FIRST in order to understand who can benefit from reading this series of articles and how to go about it. To get to Part 1, just click on the following hyperlink: 12.01-Part 1-Introduction on the unparalleled functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Note products-2014-11-30
What will you learn reading this article?
The Galaxy Note functions and settings video, presented and documented below, covers the use of the S Pen, which is a MAJOR ease-of-use and productivity feature of the Note series, plus a variety of other useful functions listed below.
- Intro – The Galaxy Note S Pen
- Use the S Pen and Air Commands for a wide variety of tasks
- Use Action Memo and the S Pen for all kinds of handwritten notes AND handwritten To Do & Tasks lists to replace the little pieces of paper
- Use Scrap Booker for storing all king of material of interest that you can also annotate for future use
- Use Screen Capture to save a picture of the screen and Screen Write to annotate this picture that can then be saved and sent
- Use S Finder to locate information using various parameters
- Use the Pen Window functions to start an App on a floating window
- Select S Pen Detection options
- Select S Pen Keeper options
- Select to turn the Pointer on/off
- Select the S Pen Detachment options
- Use the S Pen Gallery options
- Use the Gallery viewing options
- Use the S Pen Video options
- Use the S Pen to write anywhere
- Learn how to activate the S Pen anywhere
- Use S Pen on the Menu or Back buttons
- Learn how to replace the S Pen tip
- Use Smart Gestures in Video Player (NOT the YouTube App)
- Take pictures of what is showing on the video while it is playing
- Enable video picture taking
- Play video in slow motion mode
- Check notifications while watching a video in full screen mode
- Attach images to a MMS using the S Pen
- Use Audio Zoom to increase the recording sensitivity of what’s within the zoom square is amplified.
- The use of the Magnify/Zoom options
- Use of manual camera and video focusing
- Do Picture/Image Editing on the phone
- Use the Hands-free phone option
- Use on-handed operation
- Use continuous typing mode if you can be good at it
- Move Apps to SD card
- Use any micro-USB cable
- Connect a pen drive using a micro-USB cable
- Connect a full size keyboard and a mouse
Part 2 on the unparalleled functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Note
This article is Part 2 of the Samsung Galaxy Note products functionality series’. Each Part describes a different set of functions, so that the whole series covers most of the important functionality available.
PLEASE NOTE: the remarks from this point up to the start of the video are the same for Part 2 to 7. Therefore, if you just read one of these articles and remember the cautionary remarks that follow, you can skip reading them again and go directly to viewing the video.
There are different ways of viewing the following video:
- TO GET AN OVERVIEW of the different functions presented and to judge, for yourself, how important these powerful easy-to-use functions are, I recommend that you get a drink, sit back comfortably and view sequentially ALL the videos in the series from beginning to end.
- TO LEARN the functions presented: view the video, function by function, until you understand each one. Use the title, the description and the “Reference” column to move the cursor to each specific function you want to learn and/or implement.
- TO REFRESH YOUR UNDERSTANDING of specific functions. If you happen to forget how to use a specific function and need to refresh your understanding: use the title, the description and the “Reference” column to move the cursor to the specific function you want to refresh your understanding of.
VIDEO NAVIGATION INSTRUCTIONS: Below you will find: (1) the list of the Galaxy Note features presented in this video along with (2) the “Reference” location of each function presented (the first number refers to the video Part #, followed by the elapse time on the video) and, (3) the description of how relevant this feature is and why use it. Use the elapse time “Reference” to control the video meter and move the cursor to the beginning of the description of the function you want to watch. The function descriptions on this specific video are for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 operating under Android KitKat and customized and enhanced by Samsung. Most of the functions demonstrated on this video are available, with small variations, on all the following Samsung Galaxy Note models: Note 1, Note II, Note 3, Note 3 Neo, Note 4, Note Edge, Note 8.0, Note 10.1, Note 10.1/2104 Edition, Note Pro 12.2, running the latest Android version available. NOTE: Certain earlier Samsung Galaxy Note models, such as the Note 1 and II, and certain tablets do not offer all the functions presented here. You will notice this if the settings parameters presented here do not display on your Note screen. Make sure that all the available settings parameters are activated before concluding that a function is not available. FURTHERMORE: it would seem that some features offered by Samsung are not supported by my phone provider, and that would be why some menu items do not show up on my Settings menus. This is something I have to pursue with my phone provider. Finally, make sure to install Android Lollypop version 5 that should be available shortly for download on recent Note products.
- Please note that the Settings menus may vary from one Samsung Note Android version to the next AND from one Samsung Note model to the next.
- Also know that there is a very useful Settings Search function available when you first enter Settings.
- When you start typing or handwriting a Search, a scrolling selection list will appear.
- Select the item that you’re looking for when it first appears in the scrollable list. Note that you only need to type or handwrite until you see what you are looking for appear and select it.
- I strongly suggest that you mostly use this very useful Settings Search function instead of navigating the Settings menus, as you may see done on the videos by experienced Note users. NOTE: this Settings Search function does not always find the setting you may be looking for, mostly if it involves an add-on like the Google keyboard, for example. In such cases you have to navigate the Search the traditional way.
- Therefore, to make things simple, I will mostly use the Settings Search function in this series of articles.
- Following the word SEARCH, in capital letters, I will write the text to search, in italic, for example: pen detection. Therefore, the expression will look like this: SEARCH pen detection.
After searching the internet, I was lucky enough to locate outstanding videos done by an India specialist and efficient presenter: Rohit Khurana who works for Intellect Digest and lives in Delhi, India. Click on the following video title to start the YouTube video produced by Intellect Digest and published on Oct 27, 2013.
Reference / Galaxy Note features with summary description
2-00:00 – Intro – The Galaxy Note S Pen
- The Samsung Galaxy Note series’ S Pen was originally created, in the fall of 2011, for the Android based Samsung Galaxy Note 1, which became my first smartphone, as of December 2011. In 2012, the S Pen was added to Samsung’s Windows 8 based series 5 and 7 slates with detachable keyboards. Microsoft has since developed pen support in Windows 8 & 8.1 and introduced its own pen products with its Surface series, including its latest Surface Pro 3 tablet, and other products.
- Since 2011, all the Samsung Galaxy Note products have an S Pen. The Samsung S Pen Android based software as improved tremendously since it was first introduced. It now offers impressive ease-of-use functionality that sets Samsung’s Galaxy Note products apart from its competitors. To my knowledge, the only company that has not promoted a pen product up to now, for no apparent sound reason, is Apple. It took them three years before offering a large smartphone to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note. They eventually caved in and announced the iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014. My bet is that they will eventually have to follow the market and announce a pen product. Until they come out with a product that can measure up with the Samsung Galaxy Note, who cares?
- The S Pen unique, powerful and easy-to-use functionality, not available on many competitors’ products, should be an important decision factor to make you buy a Samsung Galaxy Note series product. I, personally, am so convinced that I have only purchased Samsung Galaxy Note products since my Note 1, in December 2011, followed by a Note 3, in January 2014, and a Note Pro 12.2, in April 2014.
- This powerful Samsung innovation has been overlooked for too long a time. As you will see in this article, using the S Pen can significantly improve your ease-of-use and your productivity.
Use the S Pen instead of your fingers to navigate and type
- Having large fingers, I find it sometime difficult to pick letters on a small keyboard or any other selection. Some people have this dexterity, I don’t. This is what I have been using my S Pen the most for, since I acquired my first Note product in 2011. I love it when I play card games also.
- My next major use up to now is for typing on a small smartphone keyboard.
- It is also quite useful to navigate the internet and lots of other uses as you will see in the following paragraphs.
2-00:24 –Use the S Pen and Air Commands for a wide variety of tasks
- Retrieve your S Pen from the S Pen holder and the Air Command menus will pop up. At any time, you can approach the S Pen close to the screen while pressing the pen side button and the Air Command menus should pop up.
- REMENBER: at all times, within Air Command, approach your S Pen over a symbol and you will get its description to help you make a selection.
- There are five Air Command options: Action Memo, Scrap Booker, Screen Write, S Finder, Pen Window
2-00:50 –Use Action Memo and the S Pen for all kinds of handwritten notes AND handwritten To Do & Tasks lists to replace the little pieces of paper
- Retrieve your S Pen and the S Pen Air Command menus will pop up. Approach your S Pen over an Air Command menus symbol to get its description before making a selection. Select Action Memo.
- OR, press on the S Pen side button and tap twice on the screen to open Action Memo.
- Once Action Memo opened, handwrite your To Do & Task list and click the check mark to SAVE it, or the X to delete it.
- The Action Memo offers the following menu symbols:
- the Pen to handwrite
- the Eraser to erase
- the Link to action, which allows you to use handwritten information to trigger an action:
- Phone – To call the handwritten number.
- Contacts – To add the handwritten info to Contacts.
- Messaging – To text to the handwritten number.
- Email – To send an email to the handwritten address.
- Browser – To search the web using the handwritten text.
- Map – To locate an address on Google Map using the handwritten text.
- Task – To add a task to the S Calendar, or to Google Calendar if you use the latest version like me, using the handwritten text.
- the background color to use different colors to differentiate different types of Action Memos
- the Minimize button to minimize or expand an Action Memo
- the List view to view all your Action Memos
- the X to close an Action Memo
- the check mark to save an Action Memo.
Experiment with Action Memos until you find what options are best suited for your needs.
2-02:50 – Use Scrap Booker for storing all king of material of interest that you can also annotate for future use
- Scrap Booker can be used for storing all kinds of material and references of interest found here and there while browsing. You can classify items by categories, add handwritten notes and add tags for future references.
- Once in Scrap Booker, draw around an area with the S Pen to collect it in Scrapbook. Collect a variety of content, including YouTube videos, videos on your device, websites…
- Then, classify items by categories that you create, add handwritten notes and add tags for future references.
- Touch the check mark to SAVE it, or the X to discard changes.
The video you’re watching presents the main Scrapbook functions. You can also view another small YouTube video that also highlights its main functions: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ScrapBook Walkthrough YouTube .
2-04:10 – Use Screen Capture to save a picture of the screen and Screen Write to annotate this picture that can then be saved and sent
- You can view the following YouTube to learn a variety of ways to take screenshots: How to take a screenshot on a Galaxy S5, or any other Android device
- Screen Write is super useful. For example, write notes on a map to add guidance information and email it to someone.
- To access Screen Write: press the side button and approach the S Pen tip close to the screen. You should hear the noise of a screen capture after which you can write on the screen image you just captured. You can then Save it and Send it to your Scrapbook or do wherever else.
2-05:00 – Use S Finder to locate information using various parameters
- Click on the S Finder and the S Finder screen should open. You can search things by dates, for example look up things you did yesterday. You can refine your search adding some narrative.
- To access S Finder without using the S Pen, just long press on the Menu key on the left side of the start button. You can do the same thing using the S Pen.
2-05:57 – Use the Pen Window functions to start an App on a floating window
- Draw a rectangle on the screen that will open an Apps selection window. Pick an App and it will open in a separate window on top of the screen. This App will run concurrently with the other opened Apps. You can resize this window and move it around. Quite useful on a small screen. This is also very useful if you are working on something and need to access something else concurrently.
- If someone can find easier, more user-friendly and useful functionality on any other smartphone product, please let me know.
2-07:00 – Select S Pen Detection options
- When you pull out the S Pen, the Air Command pop-up will appear on the screen.
2-07:26 – Select S Pen Keeper options
- S Pen Keeper will warn you when you walk away with the phone without to S Pen. This is to remind you not to forget your S Pen.
2-07:34 – Select to turn the Pointer on/off
- While in S Pen settings, you can choose to show or not the S Pen pointer that appears on the screen when you approach the S Pen close to the screen. It is very useful to select very small objects on the screen. I suggest you always leave it turned ON.
2-07:54 – Select the S Pen Detachment options
- While in S Pen settings, you can choose what happens when you detach the S Pen from its holder: None / Start Action Memo / Start Air Command. You can also change the sound the device makes when you retrieve the S Pen or turn it off.
2-08:20 – Use the S Pen Gallery options
- Open Gallery with the S Pen and use it to preview the content of a particular folder by hovering the pen over the folder when the option is activated. Position the S Pen tip over picture and click the S Pen button. The following four options will appear:
- Photo frame allows you to draw or write on the picture in various colors using the S Pen, save that picture, share it or print it with the annotations.
- Crop allows you to crop a portion of the picture, the face for example, and save it.
- Edit to open the Photo Editor for you to edit the picture of parts of it.
- Share the resulting picture with a wide variety of Apps, to insert it inside a document for example.
2-09:01 – Use the Gallery viewing options
- By touching the Album menu selection in the upper left screen corner you can select one of the following options:
- Albums is the default viewing option. If you open an album, it will re-list your albums in a vertical column on the left of the screen and show the pictures within the album you’ve selected.
- You can scroll down the left column to open another album or select one specific picture to open it screen wide.
- By touching a picture, it will open the menu for you to select what you want to do with this picture, for example, rename the picture.
- You can create new albums by selecting the photos for that new album.
- To select pictures, long press on one picture until a small black square appears in the upper right end corner.
- Check mark the pictures you want to move, you can also move between albums to check pictures in other albums.
- Then click the menu symbol in the upper right screen corner and select what to do with the selected pictures.
- You can also move pictures between folders, by selecting one of several pictures, than with a long touch and drag you can move the selected pictures over the folder you want to move them to. You will be presented with options such as Cancel/Move/Copy so that you can select what you want to do.
- Albums also supports Scroll and Pinch to increase and decrease the size of the picture presented or scroll up and down the screen.
- Everything is trivial to do once you know how to do it.
- All is for viewing all available pictures, one by one, not part of any folder.
- Time will present all picture sorted from the last one taken back. They are in rows of five and you can easily navigate through them, in a very neat way, with your fingers or the S Pen.
- Locations, if Location was active when the picture was taken. NOTE: in Gallery Settings, Tag buddy / Location must be active. Only the pictures taken while Location was active will be shown.
- People, if People was active when the picture was taken. NOTE: in Gallery Settings, Tag buddy / People must be active. Only the pictures taken while People was active will be shown.
- Favorites shows the picture you have marked as your favorites. Very useful to segregate the pictures you want to show often.
- Albums is the default viewing option. If you open an album, it will re-list your albums in a vertical column on the left of the screen and show the pictures within the album you’ve selected.
- View the following reference to learn more about the Gallery App: How do I Use the Gallery Application on my Samsung Galaxy Note® 3?.
2-10:07 – Use the S Pen Video options
- Once you start a video, touch the screen with the tip of the S Pen to open the video navigation menu.
- Use the S Pen to move the elapsed time button to the time you want to start watching and release it to start viewing from there.
- The preview picture that shows above the cursor can also help you get to where you want to start watching.
2-10:34 – Use the S Pen to write anywhere
- If you hover the tip of the S Pen anywhere you need to enter text, a handwriting symbol will show. Short touch there and a keyboard will appear. Long touch there and a handwriting window will open. You can start handwriting whatever is required there.
2-11:05 – Learn how to activate the S Pen anywhere
- Go to S Pen settings: Settings SEARCH S Pen and enable Direct pen input. This will allow you to use the S Pen wherever and whenever you need to use it.
2-11:24 – Use S Pen on the Menu or Back buttons
- Starting with the Note 3, the S Pen can be used to activate the Menu button or the Back button. Before you had to use your finger.
2-11:55 – Learn how to replace the S Pen tip
- The video you are watching shows very well how to replace the tip of the S Pen.
2-12:40 – Use Smart Gestures in Video Player (NOT the YouTube App)
- Once you start viewing a video using the Video Player App, you can adjust the brightness by scrolling your finger up and down the left side of the screen, and the volume, by scrolling the right side of the screen.
- You can detach this video into a floating window or, reduce or increase the size of the window video, using one of the two square type symbols while the video is playing.
- While this video is playing in pop-up mode you can do other work with other Apps.
2-13:22 –Take pictures of what is showing on the video while it is playing
- NOTE: Before you can do this, you must make sure that “Capture” and “Play speed” are ON in your settings. Read “Enable video picture taking” below.
- To take pictures of what is showing on a video while it is playing, touch the screen, to get the menu options on the screen, and click on the screen capture symbol. The picture will show in Gallery.
- Read How to: Capture high quality stills from video footage on Samsung Galaxy smartphones for more info.
2-13:40 – Enable video picture taking
- While a video is playing, press the device Menu button to go to Settings. The make sure that “Capture” and “Play speed” are ON.
2-13:51 – Play video in slow motion mode
- While a video is playing, you can move your finger, as shown in the video you are viewing right now, to slow down the projection speed. I was not able to reproduce this function which I don’t see of great value.
2-14:12 – Check notifications while watching a video in full screen mode
- Just slide your finger from the top of the screen down, while the video is playing, to see all your notifications in case you needed to act.
2-14:38 – Attach images to a MMS using the S Pen
- Just hover the S Pen over the paper clip and click the S Pen side button. Recent photos from Gallery should appear. Select the one you want to attach. DONE!
2-15:00 – Use Audio Zoom to increase the recording sensitivity of what’s within the zoom square to amplify the sound coming from that area.
- While the camera is active in photo mode, press the Menu button to access the camera Select the camera, at the top, and turn ON Audio Zoom. Then, when you are recording, the sounds coming from the area within the zoom square that you can move around will be amplified. This becomes important to capture the sounds you really care about. This type of feature, which is generally seen in high end camcorders, is available on your Note.
2-15:25 – The use of the Magnify/Zoom options
- To use this feature, go to Settings SEARCH Magnification gestures and turn it ON.
- While this feature is enabled, you can zoom in and out by triple typing the screen.
- While zoomed in, you can Pan: Drag two or more fingers across the screen.
- Adjust zoom level: Pinch two or more fingers together or spread them apart.
- You can also temporarily magnify what is under your finger by triple-taping and holding.
- In the magnified state, you can drag your finger to explore different parts of the screen. Lift your finger to return to your previous state.
- NOTE: Triple tap for magnifier works everywhere except the keyboard and the navigation bar.
- When this feature is enabled, the response time could be slowed down in Phone, Calculator, and other Apps.
2-15:57 – Use of manual camera and video focusing
- When you turn camera ON, the auto focus square, showing the area the camera is focusing on should appear on the screen or when you approach your finger.
- To change where the auto focus is focusing to something else, just drag the focus square where you want the focus to be and let it go. The camera now focuses at that area. Take you picture.
- The manual video focusing works somewhat the same way. Just touch the screen and the focus window should appear. Move it where you want it with your finger and the video will focus in that area for a clearer video picture of that zone.
2-16:55 – Do Picture/Image Editing on the phone
- On your phone, select a picture in Gallery. In the upper menu, select the picture editing symbol. A scrollable edit menu will appear at the bottom of the screen. Select the editing function you want to use and perform the editing you want. Once done, save the edited picture. Then you can send it wherever you want.
2-18:12 – Use the Hands-free phone option
- Everyone knows that it is dangerous to manually use our phone while driving.
- To activate Hands-free mode, scroll the phone screen with two fingers from the top down to display all the device features you can activate or deactivate. Then, enable Hands-free mode ON by touching the Hands-free mode If you long touch the symbol, it will bring you to the Settings menu for that feature. You can then select the settings you like, typically put them all ON.
- In Hands-free mode: if you get a SMS text message while in Hand-free mode, the device will read out the text message. While an incoming call or message is active, the device will read out the person’s name.
- Hands-free mode must be turned off in Settings after you have closed S Voice Hands-free. If Hands-free mode remains turned ON, notifications and incoming call info will still be read out automatically. You can turn OFF Hands-free mode by saying “Turn off Hands-free mode” in S Voice Hands-free, or by going to Settings or the notification panel.
2-19:01 – Use on-handed operation
- Go to Settings SEARCH On-handed operation and select the options you want.
2-20:46 – Use continuous typing mode if you can be good at it
- Go to Settings / Controls / Language / Settings in the Samsung keyboard settings and turn ON Continuous input.
2-21:36 – Move Apps to SD card
- Long press the Home button, select the bottom left symbol for Apps, select the Downloaded Apps at the top.
- Touch an App to select it. A detailed menu should appear. On that detail menu, you can select the Move to SD card option if it is highlighted. Or Move to device storage if it is already on the SD card and you want it back on the device memory.
2-21:48 – Use any micro-USB cable
- Contrary to certain products companies who force clients to buy their expensive connector cables, and you all know who I am talking about, you can use a standard low cost micro USB to USB cable to charge or connect your Note to other devices.
2-21:58 – Connect a pen drive using a micro-USB cable
- You can also connect a pen drive to access or transfer files, photos, music and/or videos.
2-22:24 – Connect a full size keyboard and a mouse
- As presented in a several articles on this web site, you may want to connect a variety of devices to your Note. This capability becomes very useful to connect a mouse and/or a keyboard and a large display to productively accomplish Office type work on your Note. This is paramount if you want to use your Note as your single computers as suggested in the following articles: 4 – Selecting the right computer product for your needs – Windows 8.1 Hardware Update – 2013-11-11 , 12.6 – Find out why most people should replace their PC with a tablet – 2014-03-27 and 12.7 – Using the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with Keyboard & Mouse as a laptop replacement-2014-07-22.
This concludes the description of the functions presented in this module. You can access the presentation of other functions by accessing other modules in this series. Remember that the reference list of all the functions presented in this series can be found at the end of Module 1.