Samsung announced in a press statement today (2 August 2012) that South African owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note would be receiving the “Premium Suite” software upgrade.
The suite includes an update for the Android mobile operating system (OS) powering the device, as well as upgrades to S Note, My Story, and the S Memo Widget which Samsung said “provides a richer note taking experience.”
Upgraded from Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” to Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”, Samsung said the latest version of Google’s mobile OS offers notable improvements:
- Improved multitasking: Holding the Home key lets you jump instantly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar. The list pops up to show thumbnail images of recently used apps. Tapping a thumbnail switches to the app. Swiping it removes it from the list and stops the app.
- Data usage monitor: This monitors and sets limits to data usage. You’ll see which applications use the most data and get detailed information.
- Desktop browser experience: Switch from a website’s mobile view to desktop view by pressing the menu and checking the desktop view box.
- Face unlock: This new screen-lock option lets you unlock your device just by looking at your phone. Once it’s set up, simply pick up your phone and look at the screen. When your face is recognised, the phone unlocks.
Samsung also announced the following changes to the apps it shipped on the Note for use with its S-Pen stylus:
- S Memo Upgrade: With the new S Memo Widget you have one-touch access to key S Memo features. It lets you select your desired S Memo input function directly from the home screen.
- S Note Preload: New templates such as Ideas, Travel, Magazine, Diary, Recipe, and Meeting Notes.
Formula Match features math formula recognition and auto calculation. Write a formula or math equation and Note will convert it into an easy-to-read text version. Equations and answers can be looked up with WolframAlpha.com. The search button lets you look for the answer or show what an equation looks like as a line graph.
Shape Match provides automatic shape correction. This lets you convert a rough sketch of a triangle to a clean, clear triangle. Colour in shapes using the S Pen tool, and handwriting-to-text features have also been added.
Knowledge Search takes handwritten words and questions and looks for the answers via WolframAlpha.com. After you finish writing, simply press the Search button.
“Given the high demand for this upgrade, users may struggle to upgrade immediately through FOTA [firmware over-the-air] due to the high traffic volumes. We suggest Galaxy Note users favour the upgrade path via Kies PC client as this option is easy, simple and done via the PC. Kies should be the preferred download method during this initial period of high demand,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA.
Samsung said that the software upgrade is available via its Kies PC client. The upgrade via FOTA (by downloading the firmware upgrade over the air directly from your mobile phone) will be available from today across all networks.