Samsung may have just revealed a new Android N feature: stock stylus support. On Samsung’s developer page for its Look API, Samsung notes than the majority of the Look API S Pen features “will be deprecated in Android N”. The question must then be asked: why would Samsung remove key software features for its stylus unless stylus support was about to baked into stock Android?
On the Look API page, Samsung lists three S Pen-specific features out of four that will be deprecated in N: AirButton, SmartClip and WritingBuddy. One other feature for the edge display – Edge Immersive Mode – will also be deprecated in N. While the deprecation of existing features in future Android releases is hardly confirmation of stock Android stylus support, it’s certainly an interesting possibility.
Rumors of stylus support in stock Android have been around for a while, but considering Samsung is the only company doing a good job with a stylus (with the possible exception of Nvidia), it seemed unlikely. Of course, Samsung sells way more Android phones and tablets than anyone else, so adding a stock Android feature for Samsung alone isn’t necessarily out of the question. Better stylus support would benefit not only the Galaxy Note phone series but also Samsung’s Galaxy Note tablets.
Google has already committed to providing better tablet support in Android N, so adding Android stylus support would be a significant step in that direction. Taking popular features from OEMs and third-party developers and rolling them into stock Android is hardly anything new. Themes, heads-up notifications, multi-window, fingerprint recognition, power saving mode, lock screen notifications, all of these appeared elsewhere before they appeared in stock Android.
What do you think? Is stylus support coming in Android N?