New hardware typically means changes on the soft-end, and the Galaxy Note 3 is no exception. The Samsung flagship will change the way you interact with your device through two notable new features. Top that off with some new and updated apps and we’ve got a lot to talk about.
We have already told you that the Galaxy Note 3 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz on top. So let’s get to a breakdown of some of these other new software features.
Air Command and My Magazine
My Magazine is a HTC BlinkFeed-like app that packs news and social feeds in a single place – however the app has been developed in partnership with Flipboard. In order to access it, you’ll have to swipe up from the homescreen, and then swipe from left to right to move through different types of content. In order to keep browsing the same category, you’ll have to swipe up and down for more items.
Air Command is the more interesting feature, allowing users to use the S Pen to activate up to five actions from a single menu. In order to use Air Command, you’ll have to hover the stylus over the screen and then push the S Pen button. Once that’s done, a pie menu will become available, listing several commands including Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screenwrite, S Finder, Pen Window and other apps.
Action Memo lets you write on the memo pad using the stylus and recognizes your handwriting. The app then lets you perform certain actions when selecting text, like opening Google Maps for addresses, phone dialer for phone numbers, save a task to a to-do list or search the web.
Scrapbook lets users create digital scrapbooks in which they can save various notes, images, web pages (or only parts of a webpage), videos and products. The metadata is also kept, so users can easily access URLs for the items they have saved, and return to those websites later.
Screen Write lets you write a note on a screenshot that was saved on the smartphone.
The S Finder app has been improved to offer better search support for notes, tags, and other content that’s created on the device, including metadata from Scrapbooks. Interestingly, S Finder also lets users search the Settings of the phone and the Help page, and offers support for symbols and formulas.
The Pen Window app lets users open a small window anywhere on the screen for “a true multitasking experience,” by simply drawing a window of any size on the screen, while continuing to use an app that’s already open on the phone.
Other Samsung apps
All the other Samsung TouchWiz apps that we’ve seen on previous handsets including the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 will be there. We’re looking at Group Play (Share Music, Share Picture, Share Document, Play Games), Story Album, S Translator, Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, ChatON, Samsung WatchON, S Voice, S Health, Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, Safety Assistance, Samsung KNOX.
As expected, some of these apps have been updated to offer better functionality.
The new S Note lets users create and manage advanced notes and comes with an Easy Chart feature, and Evernote or Samsung account syncing that makes notes available on other devices.
The new Easy Clip lets users capture images from anywhere on the phone or the web by simply using the S Pen to draw around it, “and then converts that content into a more precisely cropped image.”
The new Multi Window feature can offer mutlitasking support, letting users run two applications at the same time, or the same application in two windows at the same time, and it will work with Pen Window to offer better multitasking support. With Drag and Drop, users can drop content from one app to the other.
Group Play will include a new Share Video ability that will let users share videos with friends in a similar manner to sharing music.
While a previous rumor said that the handset will offer S Orb (panorama mode) functionality, the app is apparently not available on the handset.
KNOX and Find My Mobile
The new Galaxy Note 3 comes with Samsung KNOX on board, a security feature that will let them “run and store security-sensitive applications and data inside a protected execution environment called ‘container.’” Users will be able to place various files inside the container including pictures and videos, “with no worries for data leakage due to hacking.”
The new Find My Mobile app will let users remotely disable the phone when lost or stolen and track the device. Users will be able to erase the data on their lost handsets, while the “enhanced user authentication,” technology will prevent thieves from restoring the phone to factory settings.
Galaxy Gear manager
A Galaxy Gear manager app will let users manage their Galaxy Gear smartwatch directly from the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone – actions include installing and deleting apps on the watch, changing clock faces and background colors.
We have already been able to check out some of these apps and we’ll show you how each of them work in the future – stick around for all things Android from IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany, where Android Authority will be reporting from in the following days.