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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) tricks and tips

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) brings the original Note 10.1 bang up to date with a thin format, infrared support, great multitasking and, of course, pen-based input. If you have got one of these tablets, you've got something that's extremely capable. In this article we'll show you how to get to grips with some of its key features.

The S Pen

You can use the S Pen stylus to write and draw on the screen and to control apps and move around the tablet by tapping anything you would normally touch with a finger. There's handwriting recognition too. Just hover the stylus point where you want to write and tap the small pen icon that pops up, and a handwriting recognition box will appear.

The stylus is pressure sensitive, and this allows for some nice features when drawing, for example in the very well featured SketchBook for Galaxy app.

The side button on the pen often brings up a menu that gives useful options. For example, in the gallery when looking at thumbnails, hover over a photo and tap the button to bring up editing and sharing options.

Another example: If you are making a note using S Note you can identify a selection to copy and paste for use in other apps. Experiment in different apps to find out what you can do.

If you put the pen tip near the screen and press the button you'll call up the Air Command menu. This offers quick access to several different apps and features, namely:

  • Action Memo, a memo app which can be popped up to take quick notes and jottings
  • Scrapbooker, a clippings organiser
  • Screen Write, which captures a screen shot you can annotate and save
  • S Finder, for searching through content
  • Pen Window, which creates a space on-screen for you to run pop-up apps. You can run more than one at a time. Think of this as a companion to Multi Windows (we'll come onto that shortly)

S Pen settings

You can adjust several settings that control how the S Pen works. These are all in the Controls section of the Settings area.

By default when the pen is removed from its housing Air Command opens up – see above. But if you prefer you can get this action to open the Action Memo app. It makes sense to do so if you use the pen for writing notes into Action Memo most of the time. Or you can set it to do nothing when it's removed from its housing.

If you set Action Memo as the default then you might want to set Air Command to run when you press the stylus button while hovering over the screen.

You can also turn off Air View if you don't find that feature helpful or useful. Air View lets you see more information about an item when you hold the stylus tip near it.

Gesture, voice and motion controls

A Samsung tablet wouldn't be up to snuff without some famed Samsung gesture and motion controls. Configure these to your preference in the Settings area under the Controls tab.

Voice controls:

  • Say 'stop' or 'snooze' to, erm, stop and snooze alarms
  • Say 'capture', 'shoot', 'smile' or 'cheese' to take photos
  • Say 'next', 'previous', 'play', 'pause', 'volume up', or 'volume down' to control music

Motion controls:

  • Tilt the tablet to zoom in and out in the gallery app
  • Pan to move an icon to another page
  • Pan to browse around an image while you are zoomed in

Palm motion:

  • Sweep across the screen with your palm to capture a screenshot
  • Cover the screen with your hand to mute or pause sounds

Smart Screen:

  • Smart Stay – the screen stays on as long as you are looking at it regardless of the screen timeout settings
  • Smart Rotation – the screen rotates according to the orientation of your face
  • Smart Pause – video pauses if you look away from the screen
  • Smart Scroll – scroll up or down by simply tilting your head

Multi Window

You can have two apps open at the same time to help make the most of the 10.1in screen. Not all apps support this Multi Window configuration. A small semi-circular tab on the left of the screen lets you open an app tray. If you can't see this, press and hold the back key and the tray will pop out.

Drag apps from the tray to the main screen and they will automatically take 50 per cent of the available space each. Use the bar between the two apps to adjust their relative proportions.

If there's a pair of apps you open regularly, use the menu at the very bottom of the apps tray to save that pair. They'll appear as a pair in the tray and you'll be able to open them both with minimal tapping.


There's an infrared transmitter on the top edge of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. This works in conjunction with Samsung's WatchON app, which you will find in the Samsung apps folder.

WatchON gives you an electronic programme guide as well as remote control of your TV.

My Magazine

My Magazine is a Flipbook powered content aggregator that you get to by flicking a finger upwards from the bottom of the screen.

It aggregates news, personal and social information across a range of different topics, and you can personalise it to show the information that matters most to you. Just use the menu top left of the screen to personalise things.