The 10 Best S Pen Apps For Galaxy Note

Get the most out of your stylus

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with yellow S Pen

Samsung

The S Pen that's bundled with the Samsung Galaxy Note series is a handy writing implement for those tired of typing and tapping, and a sketching and drawing tool too. There are lots of stylus-friendly apps, but we took a look at the best S Pen apps that take advantage of the stylus.  

01
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S Pen Keeper: Best App for Keeping Tabs on Your S Pen

An alert on a lock screen from S Pen Keeper that says

One big issue with using the S Pen is it's easy to forget to dock it in your smartphone or tablet when you're not using it. And when it's not attached to the devices, it's easy to lose track of it. If you walk away from your S Pen while your device's screen is locked, the S Pen Keeper app will alert you with a pop-up notification. You can change the ringtone, set the alert to vibrate, and if you're willing to pay $0.99, you can see when you last ejected the S Pen.

Note: Don't limit background activity for this app (available on Android 8.0 Oreo and later) or it won't work.

What We Like:

  • A convenient way to keep track of your S Pen.
  • Always runs in the background.

What We Don't Like:

  • The screen must be off to activate the alert.
02
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Google Handwriting Input: Best Keyboard App for S Pen

Google Handwriting Input app set-up screen with

Google Handwriting Input can transform your handwriting to text in 100 languages and works with many Android apps. You can test the functionality in the app, but as it's a keyboard option, you'll get a better idea of what it can do when texting, emailing, posting to social media, or using it within another app. In addition to emojis, it also supports printed and cursive writing when using an S Pen, another stylus, or your finger.

What We Like:

  • Accurate handwriting recognition, no matter how messy.
  • Multi-language support.

What We Don't Like:

  • Can't switch languages on the fly.
03
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Samsung Notes: Best Note-taking App for S Pen

Drawing of a smiley face in the Samsung Notes app.

Samsung Notes replaces the S Note app that came with older Note devices. Both apps have note-taking capabilities and allow a mix of texting and handwriting, but Notes has a more modern look and feel and offers some distinct functionalities. You can add images from your gallery app, or directly from the camera, as well as attach voice recordings. However, the S Note app had a few shortcuts including double tapping the home screen to add a new note.

What We Like:

  • A repository for all your notes, no matter the form.
  • Can import files from S Note app.

What We Don't Like:

  • Omits S Note app's home screen shortcuts.
04
of 10

Sketchbook: Best Sketching App

Pen option menu overlaying a drawing created using the Autodesk Sketchbook app.

Autodesk's Sketchbook is a free drawing tool, with an extensive library of pens and paintbrushes, as well as splatter, smudge, and other effects. You can also create multiple layers, as you would in Adobe Photoshop. The app requires an account for long-term use, but you can use it for seven days without one.

What We Like:

  • Includes a ton of pen, painting, and texture options.
  • Can draw from a blank canvas or a photo.

What We Don't Like:

  • There's a bit of a learning curve.
05
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Colorfy: Best Coloring Book App for Android

Coloring book page in the Colorfy app of flowers with some parts filled in with different colors.

Colorfy is a fun-to-use coloring book app for adults with all sorts of drawings to make your own, including flowers, animals, symbols, famous paintings, and more. The free version includes just one coloring option: a paint bucket that fills in the lines with one tap. It also includes a selection of filters. To access a pen, crayon, or oil paint brush, you'll have to upgrade to premium, which also offers additional color palettes, drawings, and gradients. Colorfy Plus costs $7.99 for a month or $39.99 for one year; there's also a free seven-day trial.

What We Like:

  • A sizable library of drawings and filters.
  • Can use offline.

What We Don't Like:

  • Most features require an upgrade to premium.
06
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Squid: Best Premium Note App for S Pen

Squid app home screen with a welcome note and tutorial.

The Squid note-taking and markup app has earned an Editors' Choice label on the Google Play Store. It offers an array of features, some free, some paid, including file import ($4.99) and export (free), a variety of text, drawing, and highlighting tools ($2.99) and the ability to screencast presentations (free).

You can get all of the premium features for $1 per month or $10 per year, which include backup to Dropbox or Box, a collection of backgrounds, graphs, and diagrams, and the PDF import and the additional tools. The free version includes one pen style, but you can adjust the pressure and choose from built-in color options or customize your own using an RGB color mixer.

What We Like:

  • Very easy to use and includes a quick tutorial.
  • Can purchase some premium features a la carte.

 What We Don't Like:

  • Notes don't sync across devices.
07
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Inkredible: Best App For Drawing and Markup

Inkredible note with a few pen strokes on it and a toolbar on the left side.

Inkredible, like Sketchbook, gives you a canvas to draw on, but you can also import and markup PDF files. It has two modes: finger and stylus mode. In stylus mode, you can rest your palm on the screen while writing, while in finger mode, you can pinch and zoom. Inkredible also has a quick delete feature, which crosses out text, like you would on pen and paper.

The app also supports automatic backup and restore on Google Drive. You can also share your files via text, social media, email, and with compatible apps, such as VSCO. In-app purchases include a calligraphy pen, wet brush, and ballpoint pen, as well as an array of paper backgrounds. The $6.99 pro version has no ads or in-app purchases.

What We Like:

  • Easy navigation.
  • Can share notes with any compatible app.

What We Don't Like:

  • Only one pen option included in free version.
08
of 10

OneNote: Best Multi-Platform Notetaking App for S Pen

A note titled

Microsoft's OneNote app, which gets an Editors' Choice designation in the Google Play Store, is a full-featured app that can store your typed and handwritten notes, drawings, web clippings, images, and audio recordings all in one place. You can share notes easily with others for collaboration, and all files are searchable in case you lose track of something. The app also has a home screen widget, so you can capture your thoughts when inspiration strikes without launching OneNote.

What We Like:

  • Convenient home screen widget.
  • Excellent search function.

What We Don't Like:

  • Can be confusing to navigate at first.
09
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Adobe Fill & Sign: Best Free App For Signing Documents

Sample form in Adobe Fill & Sign app with an electronic signature.

Signing documents on-the-go is easier than ever with e-signature software and apps. Adobe's Fill & Sign is a free app in which you can complete forms with text and checkmarks, add fields, and of course, sign and date them. You can save your signature and initials to your account using your S Pen or finger, as well as save your name, address, and other contact information you often have to provide when filling out paperwork. Finally, you can also take a photo of a paper form and fill it out in the app.

What We Like:

  • Takes the tedium out of filling out paperwork
  • No Adobe account required.

What We Don't Like:

  • Can't rotate pages within the app.
10
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Scribble Racer: Fun S Pen Game

Scribble Racer game track surrounded by simple drawings of balloons, trees, and other objects.

A stylus is a great writing implement, but it's also a decent game controller. Scribble Racer, optimized for S Pen devices, is an endless scrolling game in which players trace their stylus or finger along a path and see how long they can last without getting off track (literally).

The app is free, and you can earn coins and gems by collecting fruit along the way. The hand-drawn track scrolls by faster as you make progress and lining the track are drawings of balloons, trees, and other objects. Scribble Racer 2 adds a drawing element to the game; as you earn points, you can add pictures along the tracks.

What We Like:

  • Fun and simple game.
  • Attractive design.

 What We Don't Like:

  • Have to pay to download some tracks.