Samsung Galaxy Note 3's new software features detailed

Samsung Galaxy Note 3's new software features detailed

While it's quite possible that we're stillaffected by the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that tookplace just moments ago, we're going to say it anyway: pastthe bleeding edge hardware, the new functionality that is set to comewith the TouchWiz version of Android loaded on the Note 3 has us intrigued. And we mean that in an honest, but cautious way.

Our weariness of the subject isn'tsomething new or exclusive – the traditional TouchWiz skin thatSamsung slaps on top of stock Android on each and every devicecarrying its logo has made a quite a few enemies. The reasons forthat couldn't be more clear cut: it's absolutely bloated, containingover 250 apps in its entirety. And althoughit's extremely feature-rich, we think that many agree that most ofthese are gimmicks and sometimes even worse: a complicated spin-offof an otherwise simple and intuitive functionality.

So what prompted this rollercoasterof seemingly conflicting statements that you saw above? Well, we'dobviously like to reserve the privilege of modifying our view on thislater on, pending a hands-on review. Needed disclaimers aside, whatSamsung's presentation showed us in terms of new functionality mayjust be what the South Korean company needs to finally scale the gapbetween promising, but ultimately gimmicky features and usefulreal-world application.

We'll be obviously going throughthese a number of times in the weeks to come, and we're sure beyond a shadow of doubt that time will tweak away, or outright enforce, anew way of looking at the latest slew of new Samsung Galaxy Note 3features. Namely, and to start this off, a quick hover over the Note 3's screen, along witha click of the button on the S Pen stylus will now introduce a sortof a quick menu that Sammy is dubbing Air Command. The circular ringallows for a swift access to five actions that Samsung has deemedmost important and useful:

  • Action Memo: taking the torch from S Memo, Action Memos see your handwritten input as more than just a static image. Write down somebody's phone number, and you can quickly fire off a call to him right from the app.

  • Scrapbook: a Samsung spin-off of apps such as Google Keep and Pocket, Scrapbook allows you to organize and track down content that you've curated from various sources.

  • Screen Write: captures a full-screen image of what you're looking at the moment, allowing you to then add comments or simply scribble away on top of it.

  • S Finder: functions as implied by allowing you to perform powerful searches across numerous categories. For example, you can search (and find, it is implied) for hand-written content in your notes and memo apps, as well as symbols and formulas.

  • Pen Window: by far the most interesting of the five, it reminds us of Sony's so-called 'Small Apps' idea. Basically, it allows you to outline an area as big or as small as you like, and then launch an app of your choice within those exact confinements. Sounds and looks great for a number of uses.

Speakingof interesting concepts, we can't wait to see how the new andimproved Group Play handles real-life scenarios. Previously all about turning a bunch of Galaxy S4's into a chorus by playing music andaudio files simultaneously, the new version will also allow you toshare video, and most impressively – join in several Galaxy Note3's to form one giant display. As gimmicky as it may sound, we have afeeling a fair number of people will be immediately sold on the newphablet, should the feature work seamlessly and as described.

Anothernewcomer to the version of TouchWiz powering the Samsung Galaxy Note3 is a preloaded app called My Magazine, built in collaborationwith the developers of Flipboard. Visually and functionallyreminscent of the aforementioned stylish news aggregator, My Magazinehas the added benefit of serving location-based, and therefore morerelevant, content to users.

Othernoteworthy features that we've heard about so far include:

  • Multi Window: improved over its predecessor, Multi Window is bound to increase productivity, or at least streamline the multitasking experience. It works by allowing you to have several windows up at once, even from the same type, meaning that you can chat with several people on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 simultaneously, without having to tab out of anything. A very handy Drag and Drop command has also been incorporated into Multi Window, allowing you to copy and paste content, like text and images from one window to the other.

  • Samsung KNOX has dropped out of its mostly exclusive domain of business-to-business service, and is now available to your regular Joe, as well. Samsung KNOX provides system-level protection against malware, phishing and hacking attempts, making it a suitable BYOD to work (Bring Your Own Device). Moreover, the new and improved Find My Device service will let users completely disable their devices remotely, in cases of theft.

  • The Galaxy Note 3 will come preloaded with third-party applications, though its not exactly clear which, and how many, will make an appearance. Some of these include Evernote, Path, Line and eBay.

Soare we headed towards a time when Samsung will finally manage toconvince even the hardcore vanilla Android fans of the merits of its highly-customized TouchWiz? Unlikely, but if the slew of newfunctionality performs as well as they read on paper, then it'llcertainly be a massive step forward for the in-house skin andSamsung, both.

Related phones

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The new multi-window is a welcome upgrade.

22. ghaniosman

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

Wonder if the air command and air view works with fingers too !!

27. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

That would be cool if it would work, but I doubt it. Air view with fingers is 100x better and more practical than always relying on a stylus. I hate how you need the S-pen to use the new Pen Multitasking Window while on the G2 the pop-up apps are easily and much more quickly accessible via the pull-down menu. Just doesn't make much sense.

2. HalaMadrid

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

I love note 3 my next phone for sure ♥

3. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

In the leaked pic of system apks, there was also ANT+ service apks, but not mentioned so far if NOTE3 has ANT+ support. Any clue??? I was happy to see ANT+service.apk in the system dump... Anyway, nice device, nice functions, they take it right, if bloat or not, additional software is that what makes them shine. Evernote functionality - hopefully premium subscribtion for nopte buyers...customed twitter app for note 10,1...+ powerfull hardware...SAMSUNG put into shame all of those others...

4. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Awesome device! In terms of specs and software it launches like a boss, but seriously samsung pls pls do change the design. Its not bad but not really an eye catcher!

7. Sauce unregistered

The note series aren't for me simply due to its size, but I am attracted to the leather on the back. Gorgeous. I'd love that on an S4. Finally a samsung flagship with some luxury feeling and design to it.

25. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Size will definitely be an issue for a lot of people. I think the larger screen size will be an issue as well. With 5.7 inches, the Note 3 is at the awkward stage where its oversized for the typical smartphone apps in the Play Store while still unable to run tablet apps. Just doesn't make much sense.

32. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It's funny, but the same people who will diss 720p as "not good enough" are the ones who will say "Android apps scale just fine." No, they do not, and while it may not be as pronounced as it is on tablets (Umm, awful?), it WILL be more noticeable than the difference between 720p and 1080p at 12".

5. goojman

Posts: 56; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I'm drooling for the moment this Beast drops on At&t!!!

6. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

being updated with 4.3 out of the box is good rather than 4.2.2 then receive 4.3 update next year :P

8. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Just a question.. why would you write the name and the phone number and then use action memo while u can save the contact directly to ur phone storage??

9. alexfiran

Posts: 40; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

you're perfectly right. it's a lor easier just to write the number directly to your addressbook

18. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

what if it is just a single call of somebody that I just don't want to have in my contacts...make a note, probably you better make a folder in that snote app where you will throw all of these single call number notes and you phone book is clear of unnecessary contacts...In case you added a memo/tag to that number you just noted, you probably will be able to find it even after year in your rubbish folder on snote app...I like to have my phone book c an and single callers in there

21. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Really u want ur phone book clear but your note no?! save it on ur phone book it's better you have at least 100 contact on ur phone so it 1% probability to see him while on ur notes its probability is much bigger at least 50% oh another solution save it and after the call delete DUH!

39. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I write down to give the other party a miss call to exchange contact.

10. Sauce unregistered

I could see this practical use: At Dunkin Donuts for some coffee. Bump into an old friend. Quickly whip out my phone and -write- down his number, in a rush to leave, order, etc. Later on upon arrival to my home, I open action memo and tap his number, calling him. *shrugs*

11. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

why don't you dial his number and hangup then go to your home save it and call him :P Admit it this feature has no sense

13. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

You don't even need to call and hang up. Just put the number in dial pad and press home button. When you get home, open dial pad....

14. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

haha good point +1

42. rodm963

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 05, 2013

I dint know why you guys are fighting about something you don't understand the ability to pull the pen it opens the app you write its there.if you didn't place the call you receive another call bam its gone oops

17. Sauce unregistered

Very true, but what if I wanted to write this down, and could do it at a surprisingly fast rate?: Mike Hunt 2033436060 Call back for estimates

19. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Is this a real number?? :P save it with a reminder it's better.. you may forget that note thing :P

35. iushnt

Posts: 3157; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

u know writing is much easier and practical, When i need to note a number in hurry i still look for pen and paper if i am indoors.(working in office or studying) it may not be same with you but you should respect others preference too

12. Myrith

Posts: 57; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Heh, good point. Although, jotting something down is frequently a lot faster than typing, at least for me. (Which is why I use S Note instead of Springpad.) You might need to get the number quickly and then transfer to contacts later.

15. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

to do so u have to take off the pen from its location in that time you had dialed the number and finished :P

20. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Exactly. Pushing buttons with your thumb is also a whole lot faster than having to actually write on the screen.

36. iushnt

Posts: 3157; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

believe me, if you haven't tried taking notes on galaxy notes using spen then try it. you will know what others are saying :)

43. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

lol.. you guys are like a bunch of 5yr old kids arguing on the playground. Summary: There are a MANY ways to record someone's phone number - I'm surprised you haven't said to send a text to yourself with the data - or email.. or.. or.. The bottom line is that the S-pen is useful and this feature IS and will be useful to some people. Someone wants to give you their number and all you need to do is pull out the S-pen and the note is right there to write on. Can jot a note as well as the number, then save it for later. You go ahead and use the dialer.. and when you receive a call before you get home and call the person, or forget and reboot your phone, or it crashes.. then what?

16. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

This can't get here any quicker.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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