S Note is really just a digital memo pad. Well, except that it seems to do everything except polish the kitchen sink. Among its many talents, this app can act as a simple colouring book for scribblers, doodlers and jotters.
I have grown quite addicted to S Note in its manifestation as a simple Galaaxy Note drawing pad. S Note springs up ready for you to scribble something down whenever you take the S Pen out of its socket. Saves no end of PostIt notes.
What is an S Pen? An S Pen stylus comes as a fixture in every version of the Samsung Galaxy Note series of tablets, phablets and phones. The Note series have a special layer on the touch screen similar to those on Wacom desktop tablets for digital artists. This allows the screen to respond to the pressure sensitive S Pen as well as to a finger. You can vary the width and/or transparency of your stroke according to how hard you press on the stylus.
I have had Samsung’s Note devices since the start, and am currently exploring a new Galaxy Note 3. I have to say it takes a bit of exploring! Samsung say proudly that they have simplified the S Note app, but I’m glad they told me. I’d never have known.
Many of the many S Note facilities I may never use. Others are fascinating. Draw a square anywhere on the screen, and hey presto, up in the frame pops your choice of clock, calculator, address boook, video player or other handy item. Magic!
This array of bloatware tools and possibilities can be overwhelming. Best thing to do is take it easy. Discover what’s really useful gradually, and ignore the rest.
Since S Note offers colouring book tools, I had a go a few weeks ago at scribbling down an elephant with the S Pen on my Galaxy Note drawing pad.
Using the S Pen, I found I could rest my hand on the screen as I drew without its making a mark or causing the image to slither around. Another S Pen advantage to add to pressure sensitivity.
Wow! The Bamboo Feel is even better than the S-Pen!!
Now the bad news – for iPad users. You can only use the Bamboo Feel stylus on the Android Galaxy Note series.
The Galaxy Notes are the phones and tablets that come with the pressure sensitive S Pen stylus. I believe the Notes have an extra layer on the touch screen that allows pressure sensitivity.
Why get an extra stylus when you already have the S Pen?
Well, the Feel is more the size of an ordinary ballpoint pen than the rather fiddly S Pen. It’s easier to tap the screen with the button pressed for an instant screen grab.
The S Pen is sometimes reluctant to be prised out of its housing on the side of the machine.
The Feel is as light as a feather and has a cap to protect its nib.
The Bamboo Feel stylus is also just that little bit more pressure sensitive than the S Pen.
For the sampler above I tried four entry methods in Sketchbook on my Galaxy Note 2. These were: finger, the S Pen that came with the Note, a Bamboo Duo stylus, and lastly the Bamboo Feel. (The Bamboo Duo, also made by Wacom, is the marshmallow-on-a-stick type stylus you use on most phone and tablet touchscreens. It’s a little less of a blunt instrument than most, as the tip is slightly smaller.)
The Bamboo Feel is certainly the best stylus I’ve used on any mobile tablet or phone.