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AT&T Galaxy Note users get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

Upgrade of Samsung Galaxy Note, available Tuesday, also includes new suite of stylus-centric software

July 10, 2012 10:50 AM ET

Computerworld - AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Note users can access the latest Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, operating system upgrade starting Tuesday.

In a special link on its Website, Samsung noted that the Galaxy Note upgrade will not be provided over-the-air. Instead, it must be done using Windows or Mac computers running special Samsung Kies software.

Samsung provides the software as a download within the update link.

The 5.3-in touchscreen Note smartphone first shipped in February running Android 2.3, or Gingerbread.

The Note device comes with a digital S Pen, which can be used to write and draw on the expanded screen.

New Android 4.0 features include data usage monitoring, NFC and Android Beam file-sharing capabilities, improved multitasking capabilities and Face Unlock, a facial recognition security feature that can be used to unlock the Note.

The Samsung upgrade also includes a set of Premium Suite features such as S Note, which extends the Note's S Pen digital pen capabilities to further refine hand-drawn shapes such as circles and lines. A new Knowledge Search feature can help users research information from a hand written note via a database.

The S Note tool includes templates for commonly used documents, such as meeting notes, recipes or diary entries. It also allows users to import and annotate PDF files and to covert dictated or hand-written memoirs to text with new software, Samsung said. (A Computerworld review in February found that original handwriting-to-text feature in the original Note hard to use. )

Premium Suite also comes with a widget that enables one-touch access to all S Memo features and to MyStory, an application that can use an S Pen to create custom greeting cards and notes.

More information on Premium Suite is on Samsung's Web site.

Samsung noted that the overall availability and scheduling of the Premium Suite upgrade will vary by markets and wireless carriers, although AT&T Note customers have access to it starting Tuesday.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter@matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed Hamblen RSS. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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