Further pleasant musings on the Galaxy Note II

Despite my general preferences toward Apple products–I am, after all, a tech geek.

Which means–sometimes I want something with the features want. If I were Tony Stark I could just create my own device. But, since that’s not going to happen, I’ll have to go with what’s already available.

I should probably take this opportunity to reveal a secret fetish–no, there’s no need to herd the kids into another room. Here it is: I’m a stylus guy. I own a Sharp Zaurus ZR-5800, an HP iPAQ rx-3715, and several Apple Newton MessagePads. The common denominator is, they all have styli and a touch screen to enable intelligent stylus input.

I like the Newton so much I’d even created a website devoted to it…it’s (shameless self-promotion) NewtonPhoenix.org. There’s tips on fixing them, how to better utilize resources and software, and so on.

There’s just something about writing something directly on the display and have the device act upon it, usually with HWR (handwriting recognition). It just feels unforced and natural.

I am also a member of The NewtonTalk Network. It’s here that those of us that still use and love the Newton–the world’s first PDA, by the way–congregate over the Internet and share stories, answer and ask questions, and so on.

If you go to that site and do a search around, say, January 2010, you’ll see how many of us were hoping–secretly and otherwise–that the iPad would be the next generation of the Newton. However, it’s well known that Steve Jobs hated styli, so that wasn’t going to happen. Still, many of us are always on the lookout for a worthy successor to our aged devices.

Could this be one? From the site iAfrica.com:

“The [Galaxy Note II’s] S-Pen has been enhanced significantly, so we built a lot of new actions into that space,” [Craige Fleischer, director of mobile communications of Samsung SA] continues.

Indeed, the company has introduced a load of new features making use of the stylus, such as AirView, which lets users preview content by simply hovering over a file or folder.

You won’t have to worry about losing their stylus either, as they can now activate an alarm within the stylus, alerting you to its location.

Additionally, the company has incorporated palm recognition into the equation, preventing accidental input and making for a more comfortable experience when using the stylus.

When it comes down to a standout feature, Fleischer was quick to point to the Quick Commands feature.

The new feature, activated by holding the stylus button and flicking up while on the homescreen, allows you to draw gestures to activate different apps and services.

For instance, drawing an “@” symbol and someone’s name will open up an email draft to that person. Drawing a “~” symbol and a name lets you text that person, making for some neat tricks.

It’s a great idea and one that works as advertised, but in our very brief time with the handset, we found that adding our own gesture commands was a bit complicated. Hopefully more hands-on time is all we’ll need to get the hang of it.

I’ve mentioned before how good this device looks…but since how things appear and how they are in real life are often different, I’ll wait until someone here in the US can review it (no offense whatsoever meant to iAfrica)…or I can see it for myself.

Meantime, I am excited to learn more about this. It has a reported October 25 release date, two days after the expected iPad Mini and one day before Microsoft’s Surface RT and Windows 8.

I have the tech equivalent of drool.

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6 thoughts on “Further pleasant musings on the Galaxy Note II

  1. I’m trying hard to transfer my ipaq 3715 data (esp calendar & contacts) from the backup file into outlook so that I can then transfer it into my new iphone 5. You sound as though you might be expert enough to tell me how to do it (if it can be done). Thanks for any help you can offer . Raanan Gillon

    • This reply is in response to your question on Brood Coffee Talk about transferring your personal information from your iPAQ rx-3715 to your iPhone 5.

      The most important thing to remember is that your computer is the conduit for the information…meaning, if you can get the information (calendar and contacts, etc.) from the rx-3715 to your computer, there should be no problem getting it from your computer to the iPhone.

      I have some questions for you: 1) What kinds of problems are you having trying to accomplish your task? 2) What OS is on your computer (Windows, OS X…)? 3) Have you been able to synchronize this information from the iPAQ to your computer?

      Thanks for your question and I look forward to helping solve your problem.

      • Thanks. Yes I have synchronised and backed up information from my IPAQ 3715 on two computers one running Windows 7 and one running Windows XP version 2002 service pack 3. But HP encrypted the backups on the computers so that they are unreadable directly from the computer and can only be read on the IPAQ. And HP has stopped making the IPAQ. The information I want to transfer is my calendar/diary and my contacts. Any ideas would be welcomed.

      • The obvious question is, can you perform a backup without encryption? What sync software did you use? When I used to sync my iPAQ rx3715 I’m pretty sure there was no encryption. I used ActiveSync, which can be a giant pain, but you’ll only need to do it once just to get the unencrypted information onto the computer. You should probably use the one with XP installed, for better compatibility.
        Here’s a link to help and to download it. Let me know if this is a help or not. http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c00031253

  2. You are very kind. Yes I’ve been using active sync to back up . The reason I said the back up is encrypted is that I can’t read the contents of the back up on the computer- though if I restore from the backup to the IPAQ I can read the contents on the IPAQ. What I can’t do is transfer the contents of the backup from the computer to the iphone 5 that I have now purchased. So far neither HP nor Apple have been able to help.

    • Perhaps it’s not encryption, but just a file format with which you are unfamiliar. I would tend to believe that any attempts at encryption would have to first be approved by yourself. I think it’s just a file format used especially for backups.

      Regardless, it’s not something you can easily read, so I don’t know if any of that really matters.

      Perhaps the problem is using ActiveSync to back up the iPAQ instead of synchronizing it. In your initial comment you said you had synchronized it with two computers…the sync process involves copying and modifying that data until both the source and target match. Once that’s done–and your contacts and calendars, for example, are the same on both–that would be a successful syntonization. Then you’d simply connect the iPhone and synchronize it in the same way.

      I apologize if this might well be something you have already done, and it seems like I’m suggesting the obvious, back to Square One…but I have some concern–and I mean you no disrespect–that there’s been a general misunderstanding as to what the difference is between a backup and a synchronization.

      So, let me ask you this: have you been able to synchronize the iPAQ with a computer so that both have the same information? If so, then it sounds like the problem is not with the iPAQ but somehow with the iPhone’s sync, and that’s the next thing to examine.

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