Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen features revealed via leaked Galaxy Tab S4 firmware

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen features revealed via leaked Galaxy Tab S4 firmware
Samsung is going to release not one, but two S Pen devices this year — the venerable Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Tab S4. Since both are inching closer to launch, the rumor mill has been spinning full force over the past weeks and months, revealing interesting new info about design, specs, and new features. Curiously, seems like one of the biggest updates coming to the Galaxy Note 9, and the Galaxy Tab S4 by the looks of it, has to do with the S Pen stylus.

Recently, we've heard rumors that the new Samsung S Pen will be Bluetooth-enabled and capable of a plethora of new tricks. We even speculated about some of the rumored, new S Pen features, and now, after a firmware build for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 was leaked online (and subsequently torn down), we can confirm some of the S Pen features that are likely coming to both the Galaxy Note 9 and Samsung's new Tab slate.


After performing a teardown of Samsung's AirCommand app (version 3.0), the folks over at XDA have discovered a number of new S Pen features coming to the Galaxy Tab S4, that will likely debut on Note 9 as well. As can be expected from the a Bluetooth-enabled device, a lot of the new features allow the S Pen to remotely interact with its host device. Here's a summary of what XDA has discovered in the app:

  • Control music with the S Pen. This one we expected. We still don't know how it's going to work exactly, but our guess would be that pressing the S Pen button once would serve as play/pause, while pressing it twice in quick succession would skip to the next track.
  • Use the S Pen as a remote camera shutter. This is another feature that we expected and it could come in handy if you're taking group shots and have your phone propped somewhere.
  • Remotely unlock the Galaxy Note 9 with the S Pen out of the phone. This could save you a couple of taps.
  • Expanded AirCommand integration. In other words, more apps will have support for unique S Pen features (or at least shortcuts) that should be accessible from the AirCommand menu and change on a per-app basis.
  • Press and hold the Pen button to open any app or S Pen feature.
  • Set up single and double press Pen actions.

Since the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Tab S4 are expected to feature identical S Pen styli (as has been the case with Note phones and Galaxy tablets in the past), it is very likely that many, if not all, of the features unearthed from the leaked Tab S4 firmware will also be available on the Galaxy Note 9.

So, any new features you find particularly exciting? Tell us in the comments below!

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source: XDA

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58 Comments

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I could see the remote shutter feature being the most useful out of all of these. Perhaps the pause, skip, play music would be the second most useful. I think that there needs to be an accessory for the S-Pen that allows you to attach it to a regular pen/pencil and as you write on a normal paper it would transfer over automatically to your Note. I'm not sure exactly how it would work, but I think there is a possibility to make such a thing happen.

22. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

The pen, pencil & paper would have to be digital & wifi capable, making them irregular & abnormal writing utensils.

47. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Right now that is correct, but I’m thinking in the future you could find a way to get around that. I’m thinking you could drop the S-Pen inside of a regular pen so that as you are pressing the pen to paper it pushes on the S-Pen to detect the writing. Again I never claimed to know how it could be done, but if ultrasonic inscreen fingerprint scanning is a thing I’m sure they could figure this out.

8. cmdacos

Posts: 4266; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

"Since the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Tab S4 are expected to feature identical S Pen styli (as has been the case with Note phones and Galaxy tablets in the past)" nope. Tab s3 pen was nothing like any note sPen... Nice features though. Looking forward to getting this new Note... There is no competitor for this product.

9. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 941; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I hope the pen has double tap to Bixby! Never mind music or camera.

11. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

For these new features I may use the remote camera shuttle for group shots but everything else no.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Pretty cool features. One thing I like about Samsung is, they put in the features, and let us decide to use them or not. Kudos on that Samsung...mega kudos. Wish Apple would let us decide more (split screen, picture in picture, floating windows, tap to Note and pencil support, themes, new UI look, free placing widgets, etc), instead of always deciding for us.

31. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1579; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Only thing I don't like about Samsungs approach is that they take away many of these features after a year or two.

33. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Agreed. They do, but most can be found in the Galaxy App store, and all will be on APKmirror.com

36. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

So all other manufacturers come to your house and force you to use features? Only Samsung lets you decide on what you want to use? I wish to use stock Android and the latest version at that. Has Samsung built that in? Is my wish coming true? Will the new Tabs run Stock Android?

37. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If you wish that, you can either compile your own Rom based on AOSP, or use lineage.

42. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Yeah I am fully aware of that, the no1 thing I look for in any Android device I plan on picking up is the custom firmware scene. But when everyone claims Android is about choice etc.. that's a load of BS. OEMs lock down their phones with their own bloat and outdated versions of Android, there is no choice. If you get lucky and there are roms out there to flash, then you get lucky, but out of the box support of the latest OS is only available on a select few, that's not choice that a limited selection based on other people's work. I want Samsung Hardware with official supported stock Android. Where is that choice all Android fans yell at the top of their lungs. Android is more open as an OS which is why I love it, but "choice" does not exist on Android. It's just a different set of parameters on each device. Also there is huge drawbacks to custom roms too. Certain bank apps stop working because they detect non official software, not to mention you lose warranty and custom hardware drivers are non genuine, you either lose functionality or have an unstable rom. As of right now Samsung does not provide choice in Android, they lock down their skin and force to endure their bloat. How is that choice?

52. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nothing is locked down. Just go custom. As for Samsung's bloat, just disable them through Knox. I have everything I don't want running disabled. It never even loads up, uses no ram. Android offers the most choice of any mobile OS by a huge margin.

46. Icent55

Posts: 80; Member since: Nov 02, 2017

Zylam shut your trash mouth up....if u want to use stock? then go Pixel.... you cant eat your cake and have it....me for one i love Samsung UX more than stock.

48. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Ohhhh Samsung UX being the most bloatware ridden skin get under your skin there buddy??

53. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Samsung flagships being the best rated phones on the market makes up for it. The fact that I can disable all the bloat is icing.

14. apple-rulz

Posts: 2197; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Note 8 in drawer not being used, so much for those extra features making a difference. #liar #lameyoutubechannel #oldmanisobsessedwithme

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

#hella #my#1fan #cooksjizz

43. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

I thought I was your no1 fan man?? Apple Rulz back off man!! Dark is mine!!

15. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I am not excited about this this phone whatsoever. The features sound like a bunch of gimmicks. I want to see what Google is able to with the Pixel line next.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What do you currently use? I’m not excited for it either, although I do think it’ll be this best of the year. I wanna see the Note 10.

39. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It'll be the best of the year, but I want front facing stereo speakers and in display FPS. The only reason to upgrade is the battery. My Note 8 will probably still be better than anything released this year (other than the Note 9) so I'll probably wait for the Note 10 (unless they give a killer trade in deal).

41. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The totally agree. Having a Note 8, simply makes the Note 9 not as tempting. I’m looking at the 6.5 inch iPhone, and the Note 10 next year. I won’t completely rule out the Note 9 till I play with it, but I’d need a great perk to do a trade.

54. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Samsung usually offers a great trade in for current users. If that happens, I'll consider the 9. But not so much otherwise (unless they surprise with some awesome new feature we haven't heard about yet). I've been upgrading at least yearly for the past several years, time to step back.

55. darkkjedii

Posts: 31320; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

With the 6.5 inch iPhone, I start a 2 year cycle with Apple, and the Note 10 for Samsung. I’m done buying every year, once I get the Note 10.

59. JimmieCrakCorn

Posts: 143; Member since: Nov 20, 2017

@dorkjizeye. Only a complete moron would upgrade their Note every year instead of 2 or 3. Hey look, found one!

23. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Samsung should make a 7 inch tab with Spen some people still looking for these size with Spen.

24. Nostromo79

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 22, 2016

I can appreciate the use I'll make of the S-Pen's new capabilities. I resolved to use the S-Pen more when I bought this Note8 and I have. To make the best of Bixby II I'll make a similar resolution and work with Bix' until that becomes second nature; after all, I'm paying for it.

26. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

damn, this article is redundant af. How many times does the writer mentioned intel on the Spen found in Tab will be in Note. before he actually tells us the details. Gave me the run around for a while beforenit got to the point. Proof read your articles sonyou don't waste our time

27. stulla

Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Let's hope a genuine Spen can be easily bought unlike previous Notes

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

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