The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the flagship terminals of the year. Its specifications are among the most notable of this season. With 8 GB of RAM, high-end eight-core processor, AMOLED screen of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels and storage up to 512 GB, is a terminal that can with everything, which also integrates the S-Pen, traditional Note.
The S Pen is the differentiating element of the Note range, and this year it comes with many new features thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Otherwise, Note 9 remains true to tradition and is a rather conservative terminal as far as technological additions are concerned. This type of terminals, with everything they have of power, are also a bit complicated to take advantage of in its entirety. They have so many features that many of them can easily go unnoticed.
After trying the Galaxy Note 9, in this article we will show some tricks aimed at taking advantage of some of these more or less obvious functions of the terminal. They are not “secret” functions: it is complicated to tune a terminal over what is possible from the firmware and existing applications, although there will be some tricks that allow taking advantage of elements such as the dedicated Bixby button, the voice assistant of Samsung, which, at the moment, is not available in Spanish.
1 Change the color of the notes by the white
One of the hallmarks of Note is the ability to write notes by hand. With the terminal at rest, simply remove the S Pen from the receptacle, the writing screen will be activated. By default, the color of the ink is the hallmark of the S Pen that comes with the Note. In the 8GB RAM model, for example, the S-Pen is yellow and the ink is yellow. To change this, we can go to Settings, Advanced Functions, S-Pen and there the Notes section with the screen off.
If we deactivate the option to use the S Pen’s distinctive color, the ink will be white on the usual black background.
2 The S Pen as a remote control
The S Pen on the Note 9 carries Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The most obvious function is to take photos remotely, although it can also be used for many other common tasks. In Settings, Advanced functions, S Pen, S Pen Remote, we can choose what remote actions we can handle with this accessory.
You can define specific actions for the long press of the S Pen button, or for a double press or pulsation in applications such as the Gallery, the Voice Recorder, the PowerPoint presentations and accessories that we have as the Samsung Gear 360 camera if it is connected.
In the section of Main Controls, we define the general settings for apps like YouTube or the music player. One active press or for playback and two skip the content in question.
3 Open apps with the S Pen button
It is possible to define the behavior of the S Pen before a long press of the button. In this case, it is feasible to choose an application that we have installed. The camera is a common example, but if there are others that we are more interested in having on hand, we can choose them in the configuration menu of the S Pen in Settings, Advanced functions, S Pen, S Remote Pen.
4 Set a note on the screen always on
When we write a note with the function of writing notes with the screen off, we can also make that note remain fixed on the screen always on that appears permanently even when the terminal is at rest. To do this, we just have to click on the thumbtack that appears in the upper left in the notes writing interface.
This note will remain fixed for half an hour. We can use this functionality to remind us of important issues or to customize the interface. We can minimize the note or maximize it by means of controls of the interface on the screen itself.
5 Screenshots of any form
With the S Pen, it is possible to make very special screen captures. When the S Pen is close to the screen and we press the pointer button, the floating menu of Air Command is displayed, where we have several options available. One of them is Smart Select, with different possibilities: Rectangle, Loop, Oval or GIF Animation.
The loop, specifically, allows drawing on the screen to make a cut of an area whose shape is defined by the closed stroke that we decide with the S Pen.
6 Disable the Bixby button
The Galaxy Note 9 has a dedicated button to activate the Samsung assistant, called Bixby. This assistant is a bet from Samsung that, in principle, competes with the Google Assistant, Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. But, at the moment, it is only available in English. So the usefulness of this button is marginal.
To change the behavior of this button we can use an application called bxActions that makes it possible to redefine its behavior to, among many other things, activate the flashlight, make a screenshot (in the Pro version of payment), execute shortcuts, and so on.
This application requires certain permissions that will be enabled when requested by the app itself.
7 Notifications on the Edge screen
Another characteristic element of Note 9 is the Edge screen. In fact, it is the same screen as the main one, but with the term Edge, we refer to the part that is close to the curved edges and to the upper and lower edges. In addition to having the Edge screen itself to display menus for accessing apps and functions, you can also configure this screen to display lighting effects and colors when receiving notifications.
To do this, we have to go to Settings, Screen, Edge Screen and there we go to Edge Screen Lighting where we define both the style and the apps that will launch the notification effect.
8 Change the screen resolution
The Galaxy Note 9 has an excellent screen resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 pixels, but the operating system has options to change it to other less demanding for the battery or graphics such as HD + and FHD +. It may happen that you do not realize it and you are using a screen resolution less than the native one.
If it is what you want and it is not a problem, perfect, but if you want to be sure that the sharpness is maximum, better if you check it in Settings, Screen, Screen resolution, and define the one that is convenient.
9 Change the DPIs on the screen
Another way to “intervene” the sharpness of the screen and the amount of information that “fits” in it, is through the DPIs. This option is enabled within the Developer Options. To activate them, you have to go to Settings, About phone, Software information and there press repeatedly on Number of Compilation until the message appears confirming that the Developer options are already activated.
Within this menu, you should go to Minimum Width and choose a value for DPIs lower than the nominal to make the elements on the screen larger, and choose a higher value for the graphic elements such as text or the icons look tinier.
10 Load the S Pen
The S Pen is powered by an internal capacitor. It does not have a battery, so autonomy is not especially long. With a few tens of clicks, or having it out of the terminal, the battery will run out. But the advantage is that the load is immediate. Just by putting the S Pen in the receptacle, the battery will reach 100% without any delay.
11 Apply themes to the Always On Display
The screen Always On Display can be configured in multiple ways to integrate various elements such as the clock and the start button on the screen. But more personalized elements such as themes can also be added.
In the Lock Screen options, we have an option to change the clock style where there are options to include predefined themes, such as the Halloween of the capture.