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first_imgThe Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a phone plenty of Android fans have been waiting for, and Samsung showed it off in spectacular fashion at its IFA Unpacked event. The Note 3 rocks a big 5.7-inch full HD screen in the same size chassis used in the Note 2, but it’s not just the hardware that makes the Note devices so compelling — it’s the software features Samsung created to complement the Note’s S Pen.Samsung was even kind enough to build most of the Note 3’s best features into the handy Air Command popup. Just click the S Pen’s button while hovering over the screen, and you get a radial menu of important functions. Let’s check out the coolest new features of the Galaxy Note 3 and the S Pen.Action MemoThis feature is available from the Air Command popup, and it allows you to quickly add a note. There are any number of note taking apps, and while this one is very convenient to access, that’s not the main selling point. Action Memo can take your handwritten content and run handwriting recognition on it to convert the data into a readable format.For example, if you jot down a name, phone number, or email address, you can go back to that note later and link it to an action. You can have Action Memo call a phone number directly or drop it into your contacts, for instance. Locations can be sent to Google Maps automatically, as well.In the demo, the app recognized the pre-loaded content perfectly, but that’s a controlled environment. There’s no telling how well it will work in real life, but it definitely has potential.Improved Multi-WindowSamsung introduced the Multi-Window experience last year with the Note II, which it then brought to other devices like the Galaxy S4. This allows the user to create two movable panes on the screen and drag apps from a special sidebar to fill them. With Multi-Window, two apps can be used at the same time. It’s the closest thing to true multitasking you can get on a mobile device.The Note 3 takes things a step further by making one simple change. Note 3 users will be able to run two instances of the same app and share content between them. This would be useful — as shown in the presentation — for running two simultaneous chats and copying messages between them. You could also use the new Multi-Window to have two different documents up for comparison, or two different locations in Google Maps.Theres a small icon attached to the divider you press with the S Pen to initiate the content sharing via drag-and-drop. They the content can be added to the other window in a single step. The drag-and-drop trick works with different apps too, so you could drag a photo or text snippet between two different apps. Apps will probably need to be tweaked to allow this functionality, and not all apps work with Multi-Window in the first place.Pen WindowAnother function accessible from Air Command is Pen Window. This is an extension of Samsung’s floating app framework, which has existed for some time. Pen Window allows you to quickly overlay a floating app at whatever size you want.After selecting Pen Window from Air Command, the S Pen is used to draw a box anyplace on the screen of any size. The phone then asks which app should be created within that space. Not all apps will be supported, but we know that most of Samsung’s first-party apps will be included, as well as Hangouts and YouTube.The floating apps can be moved around, closed, or minimized into small circles that you can shove over into the corner until you need them. It’s reminiscent of Facebook Chat Heads.ScrapbookerScrapbooker is yet another function connected to Air Command, but this one also plugs into its own Scrapbook app. You can think of this like an organizer for all the important content you come across on the web. All you have to do is activate Scrapbooker, and draw a circle around the content you want to save.The Note 3 will extract whatever is in the circle and save it to the Scrapbook app. You don’t have to be exact. Scrapbook seems to vacuum up anything the circle passes through as well as what’s inside the lines. The result isn’t just an image or a screenshot — the content remains functional. So if you circle a video, it still plays in the Scrapbook app. The text and images from snipped content are left untouched in their offline form, as well.Scrapbooker allows you to tag the content to keep the Scrapbook app nice and organized. There are also various layouts to show off the content in each category. If you want to check the original source at a later date, Scrapbook saves the URL automatically. This is basically a slightly more functional, locally stored Pinterest.S FinderSamsung is obviously pushing the handwriting aspect of the Note 3 aggressively. Almost all of the headlining features make use of the S Pen, so you might accumulate a lot of virtual handwritten notes, snipped pages, and so on. S Finder is a way to sort through all that.An S Finder search goes through your local content and the web, but it has access to all the handwritten notes on the Note 3 and can even search for shapes. If you draw a star in a memo, S Finder will (supposedly) be able to find it. Results are organized by app with nice little thumbnail previews of each note or piece of text.The Note 3 is going to launch on September 25th in 120 countries along side the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The same features will be available on the new Note 10.1, but devices without S Pen support will miss out on most of these improvements.last_img read more