Top 10 expected features in Jelly Bean 4.1 update for Galaxy Note

jb-new-logoWe all know Samsung has been working on Jelly Bean (4.1) update for Galaxy Note, although this Korean company never officially confirm or announce this update. The information we have is the update may be rolled out as early as in December. and most users will get it in Q1/2013. There is no information on Jelly Bean 4.2 update yet.

Anyway, the waiting is almost over. Now, let’s list the top 10 anticipated features in this Jelly Bean 4.,1 update for our more-than-one-year-old Galaxy Note. For Top 10 new features in ICS update, please read this post: 

All these features are available on Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 8.0 already.

1. Faster, smoother, and more responsive as claimed by Google

Thanks to Project Butter, one major improvement in Jelly Bean is the performance: faster, smoother and more responsive. Of course, I guess Samsung’s TouchViz UI may degrade the performance a bit. Some carriers’ bloatware may also have negative impact on the performance.

But overall, we should notice significant performance improvement.

2. Google Now

It is a shame that Google Now has not got sufficient attention. Google Now is a true innovation on getting relevant information on a mobile device. It makes you the master, not the salve, of the information. Just as claimed by Google, Google Now gets you just the right information at just the right time. If you do not have any Jelly Bean devices now, you may get more info on the Google Now offical site

3. Multi Window

Yes, you can run two apps side by side. Although very limited apps are compatible with multi window at this time, it is a really nice feature for a 5.3″ screen. Of course, this feature is best for Galaxy Note’s bigger brother Note 10.1.

4. Offline voice typing

In Jelly Bean, a new embedded speech recognizer lets you use Voice Typing even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

5. New notification system

The notification system will have significant improvements: more info and more controls. Notifications from the …

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S Note Tutorial: how to use productivity tools

s-note-tutorial-productivity-toolsS Pen is something unique in our Galaxy Note. ICS (aka Android 4.0) update simply made our Note more useful with some new apps specially for S Pen. S Note is one of these new and interesting apps.

However, some Galaxy Note users are not sure how to use S Note, although, Samsung already includes the 6-page S Note tips, 6-page productivity tips, and 6 samples (not sure why Samsung guys like 6, 6=s) in the S Note app.

So, I created this tutorial to give you some idea how to use the productivity tools in S Note.

This tutorial works on all Note devices: Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 8.0.

For Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, this productivity tools is integrated into S Note app. So in the new S Note app, you can not find this tools directly. Please read this post for more info.

In the 8min 30s video (screen cast with audio), the following topics are covered:

  • 1). start and navigate through S Note;

  • 2). find and use the productivity tools button;

  • 3) handwriting to text;

  • 4). shape match;

  • 5). formula match;

  • 6) export S Note

Enjoy the video.

Tools used to create this video include:

More tutorials  for S Note app can be found here in  the S Note guide page.

More tips on Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note 10.1 can be found in Tips and Tricks page.

Galaxy Note 3 online manual (HTML edition) is available here.

If you want to download the PDF version of Galaxy Note 3, Note Ii, Note 8.0. Note 10.1, or read the PDF version on line, you can find all of them in this User Manual page.…

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Top 10 new features in Galaxy Note after ICS update

After the official release of ICS 4.0.3 update for Galaxy Note  in May and ICS 4.0.4 update last week, some users asked me what the new features are. Thanks to Samsung’s Touch Viz UI, most users will not visually find any changes after the update. Here I prepared the top 10 new features in your Galaxy Note after the ICS update.

Each update fixes some bugs and the performance should be improved, so we usually recommend users to apply the update, although some new problems may be reported, e.g. battery issues, RAM issues. Given the short lifespan (1-3 years) of samrtphones, it is impractical to wait for the perfect firmware.

In this post I will try to introduce you the features. I will create  tutorials for some of these features later.

1. Pop- up play (ICS 4.0.4 update is needed)

pop-up-play-galaxy-notePop up play was debuted on Galaxy S3  last May. In the Googl Play store, there are a few paid apps (e.g., Stick it! (Pop-up Player)) doing the similar job. What it does is quite simple, you can watch your video and use other apps at the same time. The video will be re-sized as thumbnail and you can move it to any locations on your screen. Pretty cool, right?

Of course, only the built-in video player support this. Once the video is open, you can find the re-sizing (or pop up play?) button in the top right corner. If you want to stop the video, just touch the video area and release your finger. If you want to go to full screen, you can long press the home button to get the task manager and open the video player.

Two limitations: 1). the size of the video cannot be adjusted, at lest I did not find any ways to adjust it; 2). If you want to go back to full screen, the video will be played from the beginning, not from where you stop in the pop up play mode. Thanks to julien for correcting me. (Tap the video,  it will go back to the full …

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ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note is arriving, globally

ics-4.0.04-galaxy-note-300After 2 months of the initial ICS update(4.0.3) for Galaxy Note, Samsung now quietly roll out ICS 4.0.4 globally. I was a bit surprised when I saw the update notification, because I just got the information the 4.0.4 update would be roll out gradually.

Apparently, immediately after releasing the ICS update for AT&T’s version Galaxy Note on July 11, Samsung also pushed out the ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note users in German. And today, more regions including most European countries and Asian countries get the Android ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note.

Hopefully, this update will solve some of the battery issues most users experienced in GB and ICS 4.0.3.

Now, all Galaxy Note users are expecting the next major update for Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). The information we have is that Galaxy Note  and S3 will get the Jelly Bean update, probably in Q1 2013.

Also, the coming Galaxy Note 2 (with ICS pre-installed, not Jelly Bean) will be very likely announced in the IFA 2012 (August 31-Sept. 5) and start to shipping in November (roughly one year after the release date for Galaxy Note) . So, hopefully, in the Q1 of 2013, both Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 will get the Jelly Bean (4.1) update.

Anyway,today’s minor update (from 4.0.3 to 4.0.4)  is about 100MB.  So, please try to download through WiFi or Kies if your mobile data is very limited.

Any questions? please post the  in the comments section below or in the Galaxy Note Forums.


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Why did I get less free RAM after the ICS update in my Galaxy Note?

Some users felt the sluggish immediately after the ICS update on the Galaxy Note. Some users even want to go back to Gingerbread, as commented by some users on the post of Top 10 questions on ICS update for your Galaxy Note and Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to your Galaxy Note

Of course, it is NOT necessary to go back to GB. Don’t over-react on the feeling. In this post, I will share with you how to read your available RAMs, and some tips to make your Note more responsive.

During the ICS update, for some unknown reasons, all apps will be started (we all know all apps will be re-installed by the updater, but I am not sure why they are started). So, after the update, your Note will not so responsive. A quick solution is rebooting your phone after the update. Most apps will not run automatically, so, after the reboot, only some apps started.

Now, you can check your memory (RAM) usage through Settings–Applications–Running. You should have 200-400MB free RAM. This is more than sufficient for most apps!! For example, for my note as shown below, it still have 299MB free RAM after running a few days.

This shows the actual available RAM.

But if I use the bundled Task Manager, it reported only 101MB free RAM as shown in the screenshot below. This is why a lot of  users get scared!. Do not trust any task manager or system info apps. Most of them suck. Most of apps report available RAM inaccurately.

This shows why most Task Manager suck!

Wait a minute, the specification says my Galaxy Note have 1GB ram, but it shows I only have about 800MB.  Is Samsung cheating us? Surely not. The about 200MB RAM is reserved by the system, mainly for GPU.  In your Galaxy Note, there is a GPU (Mali 400-MP, to be precisely) whose duty is to render whatever to be shown on the screen. All such embedded GPUs do not have “dedicated” memory: they have to share the system RAM (your 1GB …

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