India Markets closed

Samsung Galaxy Note 9's S Pen has a lot of uses: Here is what you can do

1 / 1

Samsung Galaxy Note 9's S Pen has a lot of uses: Here is what you can do

With Bluetooth support, the S Pen now gets a lot more uses than before. Here's everything you can do with the new stylus.

The Galaxy Note 9 is perhaps Samsung's best flagship to date. It check all the boxes that you would want from a high-end smartphone which includes a stunning display, a powerful processor, some stellar cameras and a battery that lasts all day. It's easy to call this an iterative update of the Galaxy Note 8 because of how similar the two phones look, but the Note 9 offers so much more than any Note ever did before. And this is also true for the S Pen that hides inside the device as well.

The S Pen now gets Bluetooth connectivity, opening up new possibilities for the stylus and making it more useful than before. With Bluetooth, the S Pen can now act like a remote in addition to everything it was used for before like making notes and drawing and setting apps for quick access on Air Command. If you've recently bought a Galaxy Note 9 (Review) and are wondering what the S Pen can be used for, this is the piece for you.

S Pen works like a remote

The S Pen comes with Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) support, which means you can now use it to perform actions on the Galaxy Note 9 from a distance of up to 30 feet. Bluetooth support means you don't have to constantly rely on tapping the display to get some work done. You can now do it remotely for apps that support the stylus' Bluetooth functionality. Initially, apps like Camera, Gallery, Voice Recorder, Media Chrome and Powerpoint will support the remote functionality, but Samsung is inviting third-party apps to make use of the feature as well.

In the S Pen Remote setting, you'll find the apps that are supported along with the actions that can be performed. Firstly, if you press and hold the button on the stylus, it will open the camera app by default. You can, however, remap this to launch any app that is installed on your device such as Facebook or Gmail or Netflix.

Camera: The supported apps can perform a number of remote functions. Take the Camera app, for example. After opening the app by long pressing the button on the stylus, you can single press the button to take a picture or double press the button to flip the camera. This is likely to be one of the most popular uses for the remote as it makes taking group selfies really easy. You can set the phone down, stand in a group at a distance so that everyone is in the frame and tap the button on the S Pen to capture the photograph.

Media: The S Pen is also handy to control media playback as well. If you're listening to music, you can tap the button to pause or continue playing, or double tap to switch the track. The same actions can also be performed if you're watching a video on YouTube or Netflix or any streaming platform for that matter.

Powerpoint: The Note-series has been known for being productivity-centric phones, and with the new S Pen, presenting presentations on Powerpoint is now easier than ever. You can tap the button to switch to the next slide or double press the button to go to the previous slides.

Note that the button actions for all supported apps can be customised to your preference. You should also check in from time to time after you've installed some new apps to see whether it has been added to the S Pen Remote list. In the S Pen settings, there's also an option to unlock the phone via the button on the S Pen, which will work only if you've been working on the phone and the screen suddenly goes to sleep after some inactivity.

Screen Off Memo

Another neat little feature is that the memo pad will open if you remove the S Pen when the display is off. You can then quickly makes notes on the memo without having to unlock the phone, which is a pretty handy feature if you want to quickly scribble down some notes on-the-go. By default, the ink will be the colour of the S Pen, so if the stylus is yellow then the ink will be yellow as well. But you can disable this in settings so the ink goes back to white.

Air View and Air Command

These two features aren't new and anyone familiar with past Note phones should be well versed with what they do. You may have noticed that if you hover the S Pen close to the display, you'll notice a little dot on the screen. Air View is basically a quick look or preview that pops up if you hover the stylus on something. It doesn't work for everything, but you can use it to get a quick preview of photos in a folder without actually having to open the folder or if you hover the stylus on a date in the calendar app, which will give you a quick look at any event that's been marked for that date.

Air Command is an array of apps that fan out once you remove the S Pen when the display is on. You can select up to 10 apps for quick access and you can view them by rotating the wheel. You can choose the apps you want displayed in Air Command by going to Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Shortcuts.

These are some of the most popular things you can do with the S Pen, but there is always more to do. You can create live messages or make sketches in your free time. You can also easily translate texts on the screen by removing the S Pen and tapping on the Translate option in Air Command. You can then hover the stylus on a word and you'll see the translation for it pop up automatically. There's also an option in Air Command that lets you magnify a particular area of the screen if you're having trouble reading it.

The S Pen houses a supercapacitor that allows users keep the stylus detached for about 30 minutes before it drains out. Simply pop it back in and the battery should replenish in a matter of seconds. With Bluetooth support, the S Pen now lets you do a lot more, making it more useful than before. It also opens up the possibilities of more actions and features in the near future.