The 10 Best S Pen Apps For Galaxy Phones

Get the most out of your Samsung stylus

The S Pen, bundled with some Samsung Galaxy smartphones, is a handy writing, sketching, and drawing tool for anyone tired of typing and tapping. Here's a round-up of the best productivity and entertainment apps to help you get the most out of your S pen.

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

The S Pen Keeper app
What We Like
  • A convenient way to keep track of the S Pen

  • Doesn't drain battery life

  • Configurable motion detector with three sensitivity levels

What We Don't Like
  • May not work on devices with custom ROM

  • Won't work if you limit background processes

It's easy to forget to dock an S Pen in a smartphone or tablet when it's not in use. And it's easy to lose track of it when it's not attached to a device. If you walk away from your stylus while the device screen is locked, the S Pen Keeper app alerts you with a pop-up notification. Change the ringtone, set the alert to vibrate, and—for $0.99—see when you last ejected the S Pen.

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

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Best Keyboard App for S Pen: Gboard - the Google Keyboard

Google Handwriting Input
What We Like
  • Accurate handwriting recognition, no matter how messy

  • Hundreds of languages supported

What We Don't Like
  • Can't switch languages on the fly.

  • No palm rejection makes tablet writing difficult.

Google's Gboard keyboard can transform scribbles into text in over 900 languages using its Handwriting mode, and it works with any Android app that allows typing. 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, taking notes, posting to social media, or using it in another app.

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Best Note-taking App for S Pen: Samsung Notes

Samsung Notes app
What We Like
  • A repository for all notes, in any form

  • Imports files from the S Note app

  • Syncs notes with Samsung Cloud

What We Don't Like
  • No home screen shortcuts

  • Incorrect passwords temporarily deny access to secured notes

  • Lacks features available in past versions

Samsung Notes replaces the S Note app that came with older devices. Both have note-taking capabilities and allow a mix of texting and handwriting, but Notes has a modern look and feel. It also offers some distinct functionalities. Add images from the gallery app or the camera, as well as attach voice recordings.

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Best Sketching App: Sketchbook

The Sketchbook app
What We Like
  • Pen, painting, and texture options

  • Draw from a blank canvas or a photo

  • The full-featured version is free

What We Don't Like
  • A bit of a learning curve

  • Doesn't have all the features from the desktop version

  • Prone to crashes

The Autodesk Sketchbook app is a free drawing tool with an extensive library of pens, paintbrushes, and effects. It has a professional feel to it. It also exports work in various formats such as JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and PSD. Layered PSDs are fully preserved, including layer names, groups, and blending modes.

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Best Coloring Book App: Colorfy

The Colorfy app
What We Like
  • Library of drawings and filters

  • Works offline

  • Easy controls

  • New images and pictures every week

What We Don't Like
  • Most features require an upgrade to premium

  • The subscription is a bit pricey

  • No metallic 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 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, upgrade to the premium version, which also offers additional color palettes, drawings, and gradients. Colorfy Plus costs $7.99 for a month or $39.99 for one year. A free seven-day trial is also available.

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Best Premium Note App for S Pen: Squid

The Squid app
What We Like
  • Easy to use, includes a quick tutorial

  • Buy premium features a la carte

  • Pressure-sensitive handwriting

What We Don't Like
  • Notes don't sync across devices

  • No page markers

  • No palm rejection

The Squid note-taking and markup app offers an array of features—some free, some paid—including file import (paid) and export (free); a variety of text, drawing, and highlighting tools (paid); and the ability to screencast presentations (free).

You can get all the premium features for $1 per month or $10 per year. The premium subscription also includes backup to Dropbox or Box, a collection of backgrounds, graphs and diagrams, and PDF import. 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.

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Best App For Drawing and Markup: Inkredible

The Inkredible app
What We Like
  • Easy navigation

  • Share notes with compatible apps

  • Minimalist interface

What We Don't Like
  • The free version has one pen option

  • It doesn't have a tagging feature

  • Palm rejection issues

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

The app supports automatic backup and restore on Google Drive. You can also share files through text, social media, email, and 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.

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Best Multi-Platform Note-taking App for S Pen: OneNote

The OneNote app


What We Like
  • Convenient home screen widget

  • Excellent search function

  • Scan documents into the app

What We Don't Like
  • It can be confusing to navigate

  • Must have a Microsoft account

  • The mobile app lacks features found in the desktop app

Microsoft OneNote is a full-featured app that stores typed and handwritten notes, drawings, web clippings, images, and audio recordings in one place. You can share notes 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 it.

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Best Free App For Signing Documents: Adobe Fill and Sign

The Adobe Fill and Sign app
What We Like
  • Takes the tedium out of filling out paperwork

  • No Adobe account required

  • App stores files after sending them

What We Don't Like
  • Can't rotate pages

  • Lacks the signature capture feature from the iOS version

Signing documents on the go is easier than ever with e-signature software and apps. Adobe Fill and Sign is free, and it completes forms with text, adds fields, and signs and dates them. Save your signature and initials to your account using an S Pen or your finger. You can also save your name, address, and other contact information often provided when filling out paperwork. Finally, you can take a photo of a paper form and fill it out in the app.

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Best S Pen Game: Scribble Racer

The mobile game Scribble Racer
What We Like
  • Fun and simple game

  • Lovely, hand-drawn tracks

  • Worldwide online leaderboard

What We Don't Like
  • Some tracks cost money

  • Intrusive ads

  • A little too basic

A stylus is a great writing implement, but it's also a decent game controller. Scribble Racer is an endless scrolling game optimized for S Pen devices. It lets players trace their stylus or finger along a path and see how long they can last without getting off track (literally). Earn coins and gems by collecting fruit along the way. The hand-drawn track scrolls faster as you make progress, and obstacles like balloons and trees block your path. Scribble Racer is free-to-play. There's also a sequel.

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