A new Galaxy Note wouldn't be complete without some new note-taking features. Today, Samsung unveiled a refreshed Notes app that will sync with Microsoft's infinitely more popular OneNote platform. (According to The Verge, the sync only goes one way, so you won't get OneNote files inside the Samsung Notes app.) It should also play nice with Outlook, making it simpler to email a quick doodle or add a handwritten signature. Samsung's Reminders app, meanwhile, will sync with Outlook, Microsoft To-Do (its replacement for Wunderlist) and its Slack competitor Teams.
In addition, the new Samsung Notes app will let you capture scribbles and audio simultaneously. That means you can return to the note later, tap on something you've written and immediately jump to the appropriate point in the audio recording. We've seen this feature before in other note-taking apps such as Microsoft OneNote and Ginger Labs’ Notability on iPadOS. Still, it should be a welcome addition for people who carry a Galaxy Note phone and want a complete record of their classes or work meetings.
According to Samsung, the Notes app will automatically straighten your handwriting and keep everything organized in a new, simplified folder system. You'll also be able to annotate and highlight PDF files without downloading any extra software. All of these features will be available on the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra smartphones, as well as Samsung's new Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ tablets when they launch later this year.
Will they be enough to convert S-Pen sceptics? Or discourage them from buying an iPad, which is getting its own Pencil-centric upgrades in iPadOS 14? Maybe. The bigger challenge, I suspect, is getting S-Pen owners to use Samsung Notes as their primary note-taking app on a laptop or PC. OneNote syncing is a welcome addition, but suggests that Samsung knows it can't compete with Evernote, Notion and other go-to desktop apps.