Samsung Galaxy Note

As much as some cried foul on the Samsung Galaxy Note because of its size and, of course, the stylus, it is in my opinion one of the best Android devices out there. I could have chosen from any number of devices on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but I chose the Galaxy Note, and in fact -- I fell in love with it. And no, I really don't mind TouchWiz at all. If you're wanting to know how I have mine set up, jump on past the break for the full details.



If you're looking for some customizations here, you won't really find them. Yes, there is a leaked version of ICS out there, and the folks who are working on AOKP & AOSP ROM's are doing great things, but for now I've stuck with "mostly" stock. I say mostly because despite the appearance, the kernel is based off a TELUS Galaxy Note backup and has been rooted via Da_G's kernel and installed with Odin due to the fact that it never increased my flash counter.

My Home Screens

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Much like Jerry, my home screens are kept pretty tame. I really do only keep the basics there and not much more. I do organize some app icons where I want them such as my Gmail, Rdio and the Google Play Store but overall, I really don't use widgets. The stock TouchWiz Accuweather widget works fine for me and looks great so I do use that.

You'll also see a custom wallpaper there. If you like it, you can grab it for your device in our wallpaper gallery but in the picture it is combined with an app called WPClock which is a live wallpaper that allows custom backgrounds and font adjustments as well as allowing you to pick what items you want shown on the screen such as SSID, Battery level and more. You can grab it from the Google Play Store as a free or donate version with the donate version having more features.

My Apps

Apps Apps Apps

When it comes to apps, there are a few that are certainly a must have across all my devices. Rdio, Google+, Tumblr, PayPal, Facebook, Dropbox -- all make the cut across the board, and some I just keep on certain devices or use a different app on tablets vs. on my phone.

You'll also see Pulse, Google Currents for news and One Louders Bacon Reader for some Reddit fun plus numerous Twitter apps. I keep numerous Twitter apps because I really have yet to find one I like. Instant Messaging apps play a big role for me as well. Google Talk and Hookt are my main uses for that sort of thing. Some more social sharing such as Path and Instagram along with some root tools like ROM Manager and OTA RootKeeper round things out. Last but not least, keyboard. SwiftKey X -- nothing else needs to be said. In my opinion it is the best, if you disagree then I suggest you go fly a kite.. Just kidding. It is awesome though, especially on the Galaxy Note.

In comparison to some folks out there, I really do keep things simple. I used to try every single app everyone said was cool but now, I just choose what works best for me and stick with those. I do come across plenty of apps doing what I do and some tend to stick around longer than others, but ultimately it all comes down to "What do I need on my device to get shit done?" I have enough distractions in my life already, so keeping my device to the basics helps keep me on track. Tablets though are a whole different ball game for me. We'll get to that at another time.

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Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy Note my way: Chris Parsons


Totally agree with you, been with my Note (the N-7000 though) for just over a month now, and its the greatest of devices I've tried, even its size feels incredebly confortable. Its farely big, smooth, a wonderful device.

Personal opion of course.

Glad to see the GNote make it on here. I was sooo close to buying it...but, I wasn't sure about ATT. Either way, I think the GNote has proven not to be niche device. Good write up!

Hope there are more 5"+ phones in the works, Id like to see another manufacturers take on it, htc/sense preferred here.

Thanks Chris for your setup article. I own the international Note and it's the greatest device I have ever owned. Even with the new HTC One X coming out I haven't even thought once about giving up my Note. I might actually own this phone for 2 years! hahaha!

Thank you Chris for sharing your setup with us, Its a nice setup, very inspiring as im remodeling my homescreens
Its all about getting the job done "Quick, Clean & Effective"

What Twitter app are you using now? Im always looking for a good twitter app (tried Tweetcaster , Plume & Motorola's)

I gotta say I like the US/Candian Note more than the international one

I bounce between Seesmic, Plume and even the official Twitter. Plus, I check out Alphascope as well. Seesmic is usually what I turn to with the official providing the better notifications.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoy knowing that others are just as pleased with their GALAXY Note as I am with mine. I've had my Note since February 17th and it still makes me full of SQUEE as it did when it arrived.

It could just be me but I find myself relying on the S Pen for everything and seldom touching the screen with my fingers(this could be partially due to my smudge neurosis or to the fact that I'm just an old school stylus freak).

The only complaints that I have about my GALAXY Note experience are with AT&T and not the unit itself. Why they chose note to include headphones with a device as multimedia capable as the Note is just beyond me, not the mention the omission of the video editing app.

All in all, I can easily say that the GALAXY Note is the perfect device for my needs and lifestyle and in the top two gadget purchases that I have ever made.

I'm glad the note is getting so much love. I'd love a 5" + nexus device on verizon, but that's the only way I'd get one.

Nice job and a helpful post. I Carry a 7” Flyer in front pocket every where. I help others frequently find Apps and use Share My Apps to dump full listing with hot links in an email so one click and they are on the market or should I say Play Store to check out details or download. Be interesting if the dump would work here.

SO happy AC puts a good spin on these Androids....Google? Listen up! They are a huge voice, and you need to help feed the voice...

Picked up the Windows Phone Clock. Hopefully more devs put their app on the amazon store more often.

This is the best device i have so far used, tasted the GNEX for sometime, but wasn't satisfied. Immediately i got this cant even think of any other device now.

I too have the Note, previous phone was the SGs2, I thought that was the best handset I ever had the pleasure to own (Peter, cheers M8), then I was convinced to go and get the Note on 3 on the One Plan, 3 to 3 minutes - 6000, Texts - 6000, Voice Mins Any Network - 2,500 & All You Can Eat Data plus Unlimited Tethering, which I'm still having trouble getting my head round, I get so much for my £38 a month.

I have my Note set up with Go Launcher Ex, infact its Go all the way through my handset, bar the keyboard, which I switch from A.1.type Keyboard, SwiftKey & Swype.

This particular launcher is free along With Puddle Drops Plus, THE best live wallpaper I have ever seen, its beautiful.

All my screens, 9 of them, (All my Favourite Apps on one screen then a CalenGoo Widget on another then work based apps, System, Games, Media and Social) are configured to what ever I am doing at any time in the day, I have two jobs, so I flick between screens, I have also set up folders on the home screen with what I might call primary apps for what ever I am doing throughout the day, all this is done with no effort at all, "Just chillin' with my phone"

I could bang on about how I've set this up forever & a day, I love it!

Loving the note review... I myself am running a stock i717 with AT&T, and by far, except for a few customizations I would love to see but don't have tte time to code, it is the best non ICS android I have used. I currently use the TSF Shell and a shnitload of apps on my phone that I don't need mostly purchased games and a few of the Amazon daily free apps!

My 2 year old even loves it!

I haven't tries the LWP Clock apparently (have the free Amazon one) but I just want to hide the system clock when I use it