Along with a promised upgrade to Android 4.0, Samsung plans to add more functionality to the S Pen stylus used with the Galaxy Note. The 5.3-inch smartphone will see improvements in the current stylus-supported apps along with new software and better recognition of drawn and written text from the S Pen.
Both Android 4.0 and the new Premium Suite of stylus optimized software for the Galaxy Note will be rolled in the second quarter of this year, according to Samsung. The company is currently in the middle of an Android 4.0 upgrade for its Samsung Galaxy II handsets in certain regions of the world. What’s new in the Premium Suite? Samsung offers a look in this video demonstration.
Current Galaxy Note owners will surely be happy with the expected upgrades as they’ll be able do more with the handset’s stylus; presumably one of the reasons to buy the Galaxy Note in the first place. And if Samsung can market the new S Pen features, it could even sway new buyers away from other devices. That’s important because amidst all of the players in the smartphone industry, the battle for sales and profits is becoming a one-on-one between Samsung and Apple.
Having used a stylus on older Windows Mobile phones and Tablet PCs for years, I can attest to the hardware accessory offering benefits, even in this age of touch screens. A stylus isn’t for everyone, but for certain input activities on a small screen, such as drawing or mind-mapping ideas, it comes in handy. And it’s nice to see that Samsung isn’t relying solely on the hardware of a stylus to differentiate its product: Value-added software such as the new Premium Suite is equally important in today’s market.