Samsung first introduced the S Pen with its popular Note series and now has extended it to its Galaxy S21 and S22 Ultra line-up. While a handy tool to take notes on the go, the S Pen can do more than just scribble. You can use it to write, sketch, annotate documents, and even play games.
In this article, we have jotted down a list of the best S Pen apps to help you make the most out of your Galaxy phone’s stylus.
Discover the Built-In S Pen Apps
Before we head to the third-party apps list, let’s discover the best built-in S Pen apps. Samsung bundles a bunch of creative, fun, and productive S Pen apps with compatible devices, known as S Pen Features. If you haven’t paid attention, these S Pen Features comprise a coloring app, live messages, multitasking with Glance, and more.
To access these apps, pop out the S Pen and tap on the little S Pen icon in the top left corner. This will populate your screen with all the S Pen Features you can use.
Some less used but useful built-in S Pen apps include:
- Coloring/PENUP: This is a coloring game and part of the built-in PENUP app by Samsung. It features drawings from other creative people and lets you share yours. You can choose drawings based on popularity and genre and view others’ completed work for coloring inspiration.
- Glance: This is a multitasking feature that works similarly to Picture-in-Picture (PiP), except that it works for almost any app. Using the feature, you can reduce an app to a thumbnail. Hover your S Pen over the thumbnail to view it in full screen and move it away from your screen to show the thumbnail again.
- Magnify: Don’t have your reading glasses on? Magnifier can help. When enabled, it acts like a magnifying glass and enlarges the areas when you hover your S Pen over them. You can change the magnifier and magnification size from the panel in the top right corner.
- Live Messages: This allows you to create GIFs with your own handwriting and share them with your friends and family. It is an excellent way to send a personalized handwritten message with a background of your choice.
Apart from these, the other S Pen Features include Smart Select to take a screenshot and annotate it, AR Doodle, Translate, and Screen Write.
1. S Pen Keeper
Some Galaxy devices have an integrated S Pen holder. However, there’s always a possibility that you will take it out and lose it. At times, the stylus can pop out during an accidental drop, and you won’t even realize it.
S Pen Keeper is a companion utility that keeps track of your S Pen and notifies you if you haven’t put it back into the slot or are moving away from it. It works like Samsung’s built-in S Pen tracking tool but works on older devices that don’t have the functionality built-in.
Download: S Pen Keeper (Free, in-app purchases available)
While there are many great note-taking apps, Squid excels when it comes to taking handwritten notes using a stylus or S Pen. It offers a smooth writing experience and allows you to choose from a collection of backgrounds to write music, journal, or plot graphs.
You can import specific pages or all notes in the PDF, PNG, JPEG, and Squid Note formats. Other useful features include customizable pen pressure, support for changing ink color, and the ability to undo and redo changes, and erase.
You can also annotate PDFs, sign documents, import images, and draw shapes. However, apart from the basic note-taking features, everything else is behind a paywall.
Download: Squid (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Autodesk Sketchbook
If you are into digital arts, Sketchbook can help you put that S Pen to use to create sketches, paintings, and drawings on your Galaxy phone on the go.
Sketchbook features a clean canvas allowing you to utilize the screen real estate without affecting the usability. You get a full stack of brush types, including pencils, airbrushes, splatters, and more. It also has a big undo/redo stack to go backward and forward to make corrections.
Sketchbook is an excellent drawing app. While it involves a bit of a learning curve, the full version is completely free to use on a mobile platform, making it the best drawing app for digital artists on Android.
Download: Sketchbook (Free)
4. Samsung Notes
Samsung Notes replaces the S Note app pre-installed on older Note devices. While there is no dearth of note-taking apps on Android, Samsung Notes is built-in and free to use. You can create handwritten notes, add text, or even dictate to convert your voice to text.
For handwritten notes, you can choose different pen modes, including a pen, pencil, calligraphy brush, and fountain pen. In addition, you can choose from different colors and increase and decrease pen depth.
You can save specific notes to different folders and protect them with a password. The app also lets you choose from different page templates, including a bullet journal. Once done, you can export your notes in multiple formats, including PDF, MS Word and PowerPoint, image, and text.
Download: Samsung Notes (Free)
Signeasy is a digital signature app to sign and manage documents, PDFs, and forms from anywhere. You can use the S Pen to create and save your signature in the app and apply it when required.
You can import documents from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive to sign and send them with a digital audit trail to other email addresses. It also comes with additional security features to protect your document with a passcode and fingerprint authentication.
Signeasy’s free basic plan is limited to importing documents and signing them. You can choose from one of the Essential, Pro, or Business plans to access the advanced features.
Download: Signeasy (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. MyScript Calculator 2
You can turn your Galaxy phone into a handwritten calculator with MyScript Calculator 2. It lets you write any calculation involving fractions, roots, factorials, and more, and the app will read and calculate the result in real time. If you make a mistake, you can erase or overwrite it to edit your calculation.
You can configure it for left- or right-handed use, enable or disable automatic calculation, copy the result to the clipboard, retrieve your past calculation history, and save or export results for reuse.
MyScript Calculator is an excellent app to teach children basic and advanced math or help them with their homework, make tablespoons to ounces conversions, and everything else for your everyday eventualities.
Download: MyScript Calculator 2 ($3.99)
Coloring games are fun and a great time killer. Colorfy is a simple but engaging coloring app with a vast library of drawings to color. You can also create your drawings and add colors using your S Pen.
You can choose from trending and other categories of drawings to get started. You can also capture a live object, turn it into a drawing, and start coloring. Colorfy is a premium app that comes with a free three-day trial and will set you back $40 for a year of access.
Download: Colorfy (Free trial, subscription required)
8. World of Goo
Another fun game that can make use of the built-in stylus on your Galaxy phone is World of Goo, an indie classic puzzle adventure game that uses physics to solve the puzzles.
The game involves the manipulation of little Goo balls and building complicated structures to reach their goal. Despite being a decade old, it is still among the most addictive Android puzzle games you can play. If you feel stuck, tap on the little sign icon on the left side to get hints.
World of Goo is a premium game and costs $4.99 to access all the stages. Unfortunately, there’s no free trial, but if you like puzzle games, World of Goo is sure worth a try.
Download: World of Goo ($4.99)
Apps to Make the Most Out of Your S Pen
Even without third-party apps, the S Pen is a handy tool. You can use it to write on your screen, open Air Command, capture the screen, and use it as a touch-input device. However, third-party apps can extend its use beyond the few party tricks that the Galaxy phone comes with.
You can make quick calculations with MyScript Calculator 2, take handwritten notes with Squid, bring your ideas to life with Sketchbook, or spend your free time-solving World of Goo puzzles. The S Pen has a world of its own; all you need to do is explore the Google Play Store and Samsung Store to find the right apps.