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Samsung updates Galaxy Note with usability tweaks


News by Michael Oryl on Thursday January 19, 2012.

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Arne Hess over at the::unwired has detailed some of the changes placed in a recent update for Samsung's Galaxy Note, it's massive smartphone/tablet hybrid device that features a 5.3-inch touchscreen display. Samsung's firmware update offers some user interface improvements as well as a new 5-row virtual keyboard with always-available number keys.

In addition to the extra row of keys found on the keyboard, Samsung also added a new "one hand operation" mode that uses a smaller on-screen keyboard or keypad and aligns it on the left or right side of the display to make it easier to reach with one hand. Even with that change, it seems likely that users will still be required to use a second hand just to balance the device, since it's 5.3-inch touchscreen makes it hard to safely hold with one hand even for those with very large hands.

As we've seen on some other Samsung devices, the Note's browser now gets its own brightness setting that is separate from that of the rest of the device. This could help save battery life for people that spend a lot of time in the browser. A new torch/flashlight widget has been made available in the phone's home screen, and an updated lock screen is not only more obvious in how it works, it now requires a shorter screen drag to unlock device.

 
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Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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