The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is now officially rolling out onto international modes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It includes Samsung Galaxy Gear support, and other Premium Suite features such as Samsung KNOX, Group Play 2.5, as well as updates to various Samsung apps. But some rumored features are notably missing from the update, such as Air Command and other features currently seen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
With the initial rollout of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy Note 2, we have confirmation that these Galaxy Note 3 features won’t be coming to the Note 2 in this update. However, this does not mean that the Galaxy Note 2 won’t receive Air Command and other Galaxy Note 3-centered features. Here’s why we should not give up hope of seeing the Galaxy Note 2 update again in the future.
Air Command Is Not Exclusive To Galaxy Note 3
Many initially believed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would not receive many Galaxy Note 3 features because Samsung wanted those features to be exclusive to the Note 3. While the Galaxy Note 3 is the only Samsung smartphone to have such features as such as Air Command with its Pen Window, Screen Writer, Scrapbook and Action Memo options, it is not the only Samsung device to currently have these features.
These features, which have been largely advertised on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, can also be found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. The second-generation tablet was unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 3 in September and also features its own S-Pen. Other features, which can be found on both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, include Pen Window, the new Multi-Window, My magazine (Magazine style UX on 10.1) and Scrapbook(er), among many others.
Both devices were also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Gear companion device upon release. Many handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 now or will soon have Galaxy Gear support with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, which includes Premium Suite features pushed out by Samsung.
Samsung S-Pens Are Interchangeable and Compatible with Galaxy Note 3 Features
Each model of Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone includes an S-Pen, which specifically caters to its functions; however, Samsung has confirmed to IBTimes that S-Pens are interchangeable between Galaxy Note models.
In addition, we have obtained an original Galaxy Note S-Pen and have tested it on a Galaxy Note 3 handset to show the cross-compatibility. While the Galaxy Note S-Pen often proved to be temperamental with the Galaxy Note 3 handset, it is functional and able to carry out such operations as prompting Air Command and selecting its options.
The following video shows an original Galaxy Note S-Pen being used on a Galaxy Note 3 handset.
"With each new generation of Note smartphone, the S Pen and its functionality has been enhanced. While the S Pens can be used interchangeably, for the ideal compatibility experience, we recommend using the S Pen with the Note it came with to take advantage of the enhanced functionality,” -- Samsung
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S-Pen features a Wacom digitser, which can sense up to 1,024 levels of pressure, while the original Galaxy Note S-Pen can sense up to 256 levels of pressure. The original Galaxy Note was still able to carry out Galaxy Note 3 functions, but the difference in sensitivity was apparent in that we had to press down harder to write, and to be more deliberate with our actions when using Air Command.
The Galaxy Note 2 S-Pen has the same 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity as the Galaxy Note 3 S-Pen, which would make it a lot more compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 than the original Galaxy Note S-Pen.
Air Command Is Already Ported Onto Galaxy Note 2
The biggest argument for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to receive the latest features found in the Galaxy Note 3 is that they have already been seen unofficially on the Galaxy Note 2. Developers have already ported Galaxy Note 3 features onto the Galaxy Note 2 and have the firmware available for public download. Aside from a few visual bugs, which will likely be resolved in future updates, the port runs smoothly on the Galaxy Note 2, showing that the Note 2 is more than capable of handling the next-generation software.
Head over to the XDA Developer’s forum for downloads and more information.
Air Command Could Come To Galaxy Note 2 In Future Premium Suite Update
Just because the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has not yet received the latest features found in the Galaxy Note 3 does not mean it won’t update in the future. Air Command and other features could come to the Galaxy Note 2 in a Premium Suite upgrade as opposed to an Android system update. Samsung has confirmed to IBTimes that the Galaxy Note 2 is currently under review for whether it will receive these features in a Premium Suite upgrade.
"We are constantly evaluating which flagship features we can bring to our legacy devices. This is contingent upon hardware capabilities and user experience, and in the past we have offered some of our leading features as a Premium Suite upgrade for older devices." -- Samsung
As said, the current Samsung Galaxy Note 2 update to Android 4.3 also includes Premium Suite features; however, these features such as Samsung KNOX and Group Play 2.5 are more associated with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is quickly becoming dated as the recently released Galaxy Note 3 is five months its junior. Though Samsung has not exactly focused on exclusivity with its Galaxy Note 3 features, these features likely won’t be considered for other devices until the Galaxy Note 3 (and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition) become older.
Notably, the Galaxy Note 2 has a number of flagship features, which were later brought to older devices such as the original Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S3 through Premium Suite upgrades. One well-known feature in particular is Multi-Window; it was introduced on the Galaxy Note 2 and was brought to the original Galaxy Note in an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, which included Premium Suite features. The update was a first for the Galaxy Note, after releasing a year prior with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Multi-Window can also be found in successor devices such as the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy Note line appears to have a history of long waits for various system updates as the Galaxy Note 2 has only recently begun to receive its first system update from its native Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, more than a year after its release. However, the Galaxy Note 2 remains within the standard 18-month update cycle, during which devices recieve software support. This makes it likely that more updates will roll out in the future, but there is no telling how long the Galaxy Note 2 may have to wait to recieve these Galaxy Note 3 features through a Premium Suite update. According to Samsung, there is no specific timeline as to when future Premium Suite upgrades could bring Air Command to the Galaxy Note 2.
Do you think the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 should receive Air Command and other Galaxy Note 3 features in a Premium Suite upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.
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