I can't draw a stickman if my life depended on it, so I'm slightly jealous of anyone who can hold a pen and make beautiful images out of thin air. Or maybe hold a phone and launch Adobe Illustrator Draw to create digital drawings and graphics. Or, even better now that version 2.0 is out, an Android tablet. That sweet big screen estate!
With its latest update, Adobe Illustrator Draw is not only expanding its tablet compatibility to work better in landscape on different tablet sizes, it's also including a bunch of new features, like S-Pen support with pressure and palm rejection, brush selection to set your favorite ones in the toolbar, and a digital ruler to help you draw better geometric shapes.
We try not be hyperbolic here at Android Police, so allow me a moment to explain our title here, and why we think it is justified.
It is extremely rare that a modern, expensive electronic device ships with an easy-to-encounter design flaw that can result in apparently permanent, or at least not easily corrected, damage to the device. At this point, we feel strongly that the S Pen in the Galaxy Note 5 does suffer from a design flaw that will be encountered by some end users of the device, a flaw which could permanently break a feature of the phone.
Today, as we expected it would, Samsung announced two new phones: the Galaxy Note 5, and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ (what a name). We were at the event and spent a few brief moments with each of the devices, got some impressions, and took some photos. So naturally it's time to talk hands-on with the Note 5 and Edge+.
If there's a main takeaway from my time handling these two devices, it's that they were what I expected. That's not a bad thing, though - Samsung has carried over the interesting refreshed design language of the S6 and S6 Edge to the new phones - the Edge+ is curved on the front, and the Note 5 is curved on the back.
Accessing and controlling a full-sized desktop on a handheld machine is no task for the timid, and making a tool to do it isn't easy, either. But virtualization software vendor Parallels knows a trick or two, and they've added one or two more into the Android version of Access. The latest update includes new tools to access remote computer files, better compatibility for the S-Pen stylus on Samsung Galaxy Note phones and tablets, and better audio options.
The biggest addition to version 2.5 is the built-in file browser, which makes opening files remotely on a mobile screen much, much easier.
Samsung hasn't made a big fuss about it yet, but the long-rumored Galaxy Note 3 Neo is now official. The device, which is a more modestly specced version of the Note 3, has popped up on Samsung's Polish site with all the pictures and data points you could ever want.
There are two versions of the Note 3 Neo, one with LTE and a hexa-core ARM chip, and another with 3G and a quad-core processor. You can check out all the specs below.
The title says it all here. GMD Air Command installs a shortcut on your Galaxy Note 3, 10.1 2014, or other compatible devices that can open Samsung's Air Command menu without you having to pull out the S pen. This is especially useful considering that some functionality, such as opening up a floating window, really doesn't need a stylus.
To sweeten things further, GMD Air Command doesn't require root to use. It comes to us from Good Mood Droid, a developer with a knack for creating small apps that extend the functionality of Android devices in nifty ways, such as by hiding soft keys when you would rather have more screen real estate or using a front-facing camera to rotate the display to match which way your head is leaning.
Besides taking a look at the Galaxy Gear here at IFA 2013, we also got the chance to play around with Samsung's new lineup of Note devices, namely the Note 3 and the Note 10.1 2014 edition.
Ignoring for a moment the devices' form factors, they share a lot of similarities and, in fact, share just about everything software-wise. Samsung's main focus with the new devices, besides their refreshed specs, displays, and hardware design, is the S Pen, which itself has received a functionality upgrade. After a brief hands-on video, we'll take a closer look.
First, we'll take a quick look at what we know so far, spec-wise.
In a continued quest to bring their handy functionality of the Note line's S Pen, Samsung has again updated the stylus' SDK, this time to 2.2.5 (a 0.0.5 bump over the previous update).
The update, which Samsung announced through its developer blog early this morning, brings one major feature – Multi Window and its related APIs. For those who haven't been keeping up with the Note line, Multi Window is a feature by which apps can share the screen by splitting it in half horizontally or vertically, sharing data through the clipboard or – in some cases – with simple drag-and-drop.
I panned the Note 10.1 in my review. It was subtitled "An Embarrassing, Lazy, Arrogant Money Grab" and, for my conclusion, I took a picture of it in a trashcan. I did not like it. It had erratic performance, a squishy, creaky back, and a bunch of gimmicky features that didn't work. Now, I've got a Note II!
I'm happy to report the Note II is not as crappy as its bigger brother. It's much more solidly built in comparison, really fast, and god help me, some of the TouchWiz features are actually good. They greatly improved the split screen app feature of the Note 10.1, and I think Samsung has finally found their huge, differentiating software feature that they've been searching for.
Device-specific hardware tends to get overlooked by the third-party development community, but the S Pen from Samsung's Note phones might be the exception. There are a lot of Note users out there and it has a stylus that's actually worth using. Samsung is now offering game developers a way to better utilize that feature with the Unity Extension SDK, which can be downloaded from Samsung's developer site.
In case you're not aware, Unity is a 3D game engine that's used by a number of popular titles. The new SDK will allow developers to accept input from the S Pen. The SDK provides devs with access to SCanvasView in their games.