One of the new Note8’s most stand out features, as with all of the Note devices, is the pen.
For some people, it’s why they’d choose the Note8 over the S8 or S8 Plus and while I think there are other reasons for doing that, which we can talk about in another video perhaps, I kinda get what they’re on about.
Originally, I didn’t really think much of the pen–telling myself I’ll probably never use it, but then a funny thing happened: I forced myself to use it for a bit and now, now I like it.
For anyone curious, here are my favorite uses for the S-Pen.
First up, live messages. While not that functional, I admit, they’re kinda fun.
If you have the messaging app open, you can pull out the pen and tap Live Messages and you get the ability to select different pens, draw on a black screen and then send it to whomever you are texting as a gif (which means, unlike similar iMessage fun stuff, anyone can see it regardless of device).
You can also make anything the background so that means you can also send photos with your own custom doodles on them. Again, good times.
It’s also super funny to see people’s reactions when they don’t understand how you’re sending them.
The next thing I use a lot is off-screen memo. Something actually functional.
The concept is super simple: if you pull out the pen while the screen is off, you’re able to immediately start writing notes on it. Now, yes, you can take notes on any phone with opening the note app, but what I started to realize was that this is just that much faster and if I write without caring if anyone else can read it, I can write pretty fast too. Then it’s automatically saved to my notepad.
Besides the off-screen memos, there are, of course, normal notes.
And, while again, you can take notes on any phone, the pen gives you another input method which allows you to draw much more intricate things and not just use text.
And while I am a person who habitually can’t stand working using paper (I feel that it’s super inefficient because I eventually will probably have to type it up later so why not skip a step) I do find that I like doing things like outlining, or brainstorming with a pen.
Something about the kinetic nature of it is conducive to creative things? Not sure, but it feels good and since it isn’t paper it is at least saved and accessible anywhere automatically.
Besides the perhaps obvious uses of writing/drawing I’ve mentioned, there’s also a less apparent use for the pen I find myself utilizing a lot.
There are times when I have to use a desktop version of a site in order to get to specific features on that site that I might need. For example, to access reports in the YouTube backend that aren’t available in the Studio app, or Google Analytics for reports on the site not in the Analytics app, or AdWords, AdSense, basically all of Google’s apps it feels like at least.
Regardless, if I tap request desktop site when on the mobile site and then use the pen to navigate around way easier than trying to zoom in and click and elements moving off the screen etc.
In addition to this, you can hover over items on the site to implement the same trigger as hovering with your mouse in Samsung’s browser as well as a few third-party ones (not chrome though for some dumb reason though). That allows you to bring down dropdowns, highlight info, or text easier, etc.
Again, not something I immediately thought of for the pen, it’s become pretty useful in a world where not every app has all the features of their desktop counterparts.
And there you go, my favorite uses for the S-Pen. Let me know what else you guys use it for in the comments below, would love to check them out.