The 10 Best S Pen Apps For Galaxy Note

Get the most out of your stylus

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with yellow S Pen


The S Pen that's bundled with the Samsung Galaxy Note series is a handy writing implement for those tired of typing and tapping. It's a sketching and drawing tool, too. Here, we've rounded up the best productivity and entertainment apps to help you get the best use out of your S pen.

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

Screenshots of the S Pen Keeper app



What We Like

  • A convenient way to keep track of your S Pen.

  • Always runs in the background.

  • Configurable motion detector with three levels of sensitivity.

What We Don't Like

  • The screen must be off to activate the alert.

  • May not work with devices using custom ROM.

  • Won't work with Android's background process limit option.

It's easy to forget to dock your S Pen in your smartphone or tablet when you're not using it. 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 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.

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: Google Handwriting Input

Screenshots from Google Handwriting Input


What We Like

  • Accurate handwriting recognition, no matter how messy.

  • Multi-language support.

  • Support for more than a thousand emojis.

What We Don't Like

  • Can't switch languages on the fly.

  • Google now supports Gboard instead.

  • No palm rejection makes tablet writing difficult.

Google Handwriting Input can transform your scribbles into text in 100 languages and it 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. It also supports emojis, along with printed and cursive writing when using an S Pen, another stylus, or your finger.

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Best Note-taking App for S Pen: Samsung Notes

Screenshots from Samsung Notes app


What We Like

  • A repository for all your notes, no matter the form.

  • Can import files from S Note app.

  • Syncs notes with Samsung Cloud.

What We Don't Like

  • Omits S Note app's home screen shortcuts.

  • Incorrect password attempts can temporarily prevent you from accessing secured notes.

  • Missing 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 more modern look and feel. It also offers some distinct functionalities. You can add images from your gallery app, or directly from the camera, as well as attach voice recordings.

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Best Sketching App: Sketchbook

Screenshot from the Sketchbook app


What We Like

  • Includes a ton of pen, painting, and texture options.

  • Can draw from a blank canvas or a photo.

  • The fully-featured version is totally free.

What We Don't Like

  • There's a bit of a learning curve.

  • Lacks some features the desktop version has, like brush add-ons.

  • Prone to crashes.

Autodesk's 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 lets you export your work in various formats—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

Screenshots of the Colorfy app


What We Like

  • A sizable 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 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 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

Screenshot of the Squid app

 Steadfast Innovation

What We Like

  • Very easy to use and includes a quick tutorial.

  • Can purchase some premium features a la carte.

  • Natural, 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 ($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. That also includes backup to Dropbox or Box; a collection of backgrounds, graphs, and diagrams; and PDF importing. 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

Screenshot of the Inkredible app



What We Like

  • Easy navigation.

  • Can share notes with any compatible app.

  • Minimalist UI.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version only has one pen option.

  • Lacks a tagging feature.

  • Palm rejection issues on certain devices.

Like Sketchbook, Inkredible gives you 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 you would on pen and paper.

The app 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.

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OneNote: Best Multi-Platform Notetaking App for S Pen

Screenshot of the OneNote app


What We Like

  • Convenient home screen widget.

  • Excellent search function.

  • Scan documents directly into the app.

What We Don't Like

  • Can be confusing to navigate at first.

  • Requires a Microsoft account.

  • Mobile version is missing some features compared to desktop version.

Microsoft's OneNote 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 it.

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Best Free App For Signing Documents: Adobe Fill and Sign

Screenshots of 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 within the app.

  • Removes existing form information.

  • 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's Fill and Sign is free and it lets you complete forms with text, add fields, and sign and date them. You can save your signature and initials to your account using your S Pen or 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:

Screenshots from 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). You can 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.