SPen (touchwiz free) - CM12(Lollipop) best apps to use

Most fluent Spen functionality(touchwiz free)


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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
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SPEN on a none touchwiz ROM

The most compelling reason for buying an SPen Samsung device to me was the vision and possibility for a paper-free lifestyle.
Moving seamlessly between the paper-free and paper-bound world's is a must along that journey.

You can just about see/feel/ makeout the possibility of everything coming together in a best of all worlds type setup.....
So here it is - a capable device that has all the firepower but none of the vision by its manufacturer :( oh Well...

I bought a Samsung Note 2014 wifi only device with spen in november 2014.
Don't like touchwiz for its bloat and its gimmicky "locked data" feeling.
Installed Cyanogenmod 12 and then Temasek ROM port.
Please share your current setup.
Specific apps you use, relevant settings and how smooth your setup integrates( screenshot examples etc)

The more elegant and evolved your setup the better!!!

Please use the feature request section. See my "Google's Keep app
Sketch for keep +
Handraw

Option 2 : Note buddy(Free) OR Note buddy(Paid) + Papyrus app

Option 3 : Fiinote - Google Play Store

Option 4 : SpenCommander ( beta testing stage and paid ATM)[RESIZE=100][/RESIZE]

Option 5 : Dionote This app utilizes the SPen pressure sensitive abilities(Not many apps do)! Well worth of further studying.

Other decent apps that you should be aware of are


Lecture Notes (bought the pro but haven't used it much)
OneNote ( feeling timid to rely on a Microsoft app in the Android ecosystem. Thats because of the politics and conflict of interest that underline Microsofts potential for success on an Androids OS. May be an overreaction or far-sightness/short-sightness blunder on my behalf ... but hey we all live and learn :rolleyes:)

XDA:DevDB Information
SPen (touchwiz free) CM12(Lollipop), ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)

Contributors
xda_nikita
ROM OS Version: 5.0.x Lollipop

Version Information
Status: Testing

Created 2014-12-12
Last Updated 2014-12-11
 

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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
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Ok here is my setup :
CM 12 ( credit goes to RaymanFX and all contributors) with "google keep" , "handraw" and "sketch for keep" . Launcher(side) with "glovebox"
This gives a sort of "action memo" knockoff.

Need help with :
-SPen driven Screenshot select similar to touchwiz spen screengrab app(lassoo select a portion of the screen and have that annotated in an app like handraw before pasted into google keep).
- browser side copy image for images that get pasted into google keep note as you browse ect(much like the pinterest button on a desktop browser pins the image directly to a board)
-browser tabs session save(which ever browser is best for this kind of thing) on a google drive account with corresponding "google keep note" link inside to restore the saved session would be phenomenal!
- spen touch depth sensors in handraw(or alternative setup)

Any way for "handwritting recognition" in any input box field to be used as a system-wide keyboard input method??

Any ideas?
 

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Pazzu510

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
318
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48
For apps I use Write Beta. Just get through your prefered paper setting and you will be good to go. Maybe it doesnt have the best UI but it compensates by having the best stroke smothing technology.

To make notes, as many of you above I use Keep.

I am trying to be a developer and i made this app which any of you might find usefull
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.BCorp.SPasteAnywhere
But i have to say that i abandoned it because for it to work i need SPenSDK which suck, and because it has some error with touchwiz. Happily i dont have touchwiz anymore and so sadly i havent been able to fix it, it should be fine if anyone want to try it on cm12 with some video glitches that currently bug Rayman's great rom.

The point is, If anyone can find a better handwriting library that doesn't depends on a third party app please tell me and lets make great apps together. :) I was actually working on an action menu replacement for cm12 but see the information i give below.

To do some great stuff for the tablet on CM we will need the functionality that only this app is giving:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tushar.cmspen
without that app we can not detect pen dettachment, pen hover button, etc(No gestures like the one getting you to action memo or action menu). There are simply no broadcast of this actions in the system. The free version, I think, also has limited functions so if anyone does a cool app with anything else they would require the user to buy this app; and for it to have a decent pen stoke detection the user would have to add the spensdk from the play store. Can you see the hassle here? I asked @RaymanFX to look into it and add the CM SPen companion principle into cm12 for developers to have a better time doing something.
 

dc959

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2010
299
92
0
Melbourne
I just thought i'd let you all know before you get too far ahead of yourselves but the spen isnt actually functioning as an spen and doesnt get recognized as one so therefore the spen sdk wouldn't work witn cm12 due to as one of the bugs described says that "e-pen gets recognized as pointer device" and i'd also like to mention that i don't actually see any development in this post itself and should have been put in the general section rather than the original development or at least be a comment on the cm12 thread itself due to it being related to that
 

Pazzu510

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
318
59
48
I just thought i'd let you all know before you get too far ahead of yourselves but the spen isnt actually functioning as an spen and doesnt get recognized as one so therefore the spen sdk wouldn't work witn cm12 due to as one of the bugs described says that "e-pen gets recognized as pointer device" and i'd also like to mention that i don't actually see any development in this post itself and should have been put in the general section rather than the original development or at least be a comment on the cm12 thread itself due to it being related to that
Even if the rom detects it as a pointer device it is still detected as an spen withing the kernel. SPenSDK detects its as so and functions properly. If you want proof, use my app, SPaste, and see that spen makes strokes and finger is an eraser. This doesnt happens with any other pointer device like a mouse.
Still, as i said, the spen actions(Hover+button, attach, dettach, etc) are not broadcast to the system(Even if the actions are detected on the kernel) and thus, without the cm12 companion app, these functions are unusable. To add something, API to use them are also on the SPenSDK, but because there are no broadcast, this functions still dont work with the sdk installed.

You are completely right about this been in general.
 
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dc959

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2010
299
92
0
Melbourne
Even if the rom detects it as a pointer device it is still detected as an spen withing the kernel. SPenSDK detects its as so and functions properly. If you want proof, use my app, SPaste, and see that spen makes strokes and finger is an eraser. This doesnt happens with any other pointer device like a mouse.
Still, as i said, the spen actions(Hover+button, attach, dettach, etc) are not broadcast to the system(Even if the actions are detected on the kernel) and thus, without the cm12 companion app, these functions are unusable. To add something, API to use them are also on the SPenSDK, but because there are no broadcast, this functions still dont work with the sdk installed.

You are completely right about this been in general.
That is where you're wrong, a large majority of applications test to see if the s pen is actually available on the device to make sure there is compatibility yet none of them can recognize the device has an s pen because it isn't giving off the correct aigniture check. For instants give GMD spend control or cm s pen add-on a go and you'll see yet the apps are compatible with the device they don't actually get the correct response that the device has an spen because it's failing a aigniture check, I've even had contact with the developer to make sure that it isn't an issue with the app and cm12 and he sent me a debugging enabled version of the add-on app and it was something with the ROM itself preventing the app from verifying that an s pen is present. Sure a application can read the pressure strokes as I've tested it with sketchbook but the issue itself lies within the ROM having the correct drivers to send out the correct signal that it is in fact an s pen which it isn't because for starters the mouse icon is showing up and due to the s pen SDK it actually uses its own set of files to utilize the hardware rather than the Roms files that utilize it
 
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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
96
25
0
For apps I use Write Beta. Just get through your prefered paper setting and you will be good to go. Maybe it doesnt have the best UI but it compensates by having the best stroke smothing technology.

To make notes, as many of you above I use Keep.

I am trying to be a developer and i made this app which any of you might find usefull
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.BCorp.SPasteAnywhere
But i have to say that i abandoned it because for it to work i need SPenSDK which suck, and because it has some error with touchwiz. Happily i dont have touchwiz anymore and so sadly i havent been able to fix it, it should be fine if anyone want to try it on cm12 with some video glitches that currently bug Rayman's great rom.

The point is, If anyone can find a better handwriting library that doesn't depends on a third party app please tell me and lets make great apps together. :) I was actually working on an action menu replacement for cm12 but see the information i give below.

To do some great stuff for the tablet on CM we will need the functionality that only this app is giving:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tushar.cmspen
without that app we can not detect pen dettachment, pen hover button, etc(No gestures like the one getting you to action memo or action menu). There are simply no broadcast of this actions in the system. The free version, I think, also has limited functions so if anyone does a cool app with anything else they would require the user to buy this app; and for it to have a decent pen stoke detection the user would have to add the spensdk from the play store. Can you see the hassle here? I asked @RaymanFX to look into it and add the CM SPen companion principle into cm12 for developers to have a better time doing something.
I just thought i'd let you all know before you get too far ahead of yourselves but the spen isnt actually functioning as an spen and doesnt get recognized as one so therefore the spen sdk wouldn't work witn cm12 due to as one of the bugs described says that "e-pen gets recognized as pointer device" and i'd also like to mention that i don't actually see any development in this post itself and should have been put in the general section rather than the original development or at least be a comment on the cm12 thread itself due to it being related to that
I really like "Write Beta" app. Loved the undo and lasso features.
"Fiinote" is worth checking and is definately the best snote replacement app I am aware of.

CM12 ROM is being worked on by RaymanFX. As a developer he is focused on delivering the Android OS.
SPen relies on RaymanFXs efforts to open spen to app developers.

You still need good apps and user friendly functionality while all the developers work out the OS segment.
To avoid polluting RaymanFXs thread with discussions outside of the OS delivery I've made this thread...

Its meant to give a glancing reference on ways of setting up SPen functionality after you are done flashing CM12( or any other Lollipop based ROM )

The Gold standard would be for all SPen functionality to be exposed on OS level , app developer level passed on to app user level. Only then can the spen be freed from its touchwizz chained existence!:crying:
 

xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
96
25
0
Android stock keyboard is really good!

*We have decent size keyboard
*We have the accessible but not aggressive voice typing option
( Being a "keyboard and trackpad only" user until recently, I can feel ,"google voice" being currently under leveraged by me )

The only let down when using Spen able device is hand writing input option on the stock keyboard.

"Hand writing recognition" should be available anywhere inside Android OS where keyboard input is possible.

Here is an example mockup Android keyboard that should exist (refer to image)
That Handwriting should be just as understated and persistently available like the "voice typing" icon on stock keyboard today.


I would like to put forward the following questions to the wider community, especially active developers .

How do we port/import a handwriting recognition feature into an Android keyboard?
What are the best hand recognition apps and projects that lend themselves to further improvement or integration?
Is it very difficult to modify stock Android keyboard?
What are the essential pieces that need to come together to make this happen??

Hope this makes sense on one level or another.
 
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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
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What about myscript stylus beta?
Another "beef" I got with SPen at the moment is Screenshots.
Taking screenshot segments with SPen able device is a frustrating experience on a Touchwiz free ROM like CM12 at the moment.

Its no fault of the ROM builds themselve.
In fact it is truly remarkable how stable CM12 (Lolliopop) runs and just how fast
RaymanFX's effort is paying dividends to P600 owners(Samsung Note 2014 wifi)!

I wasn't able to assemble a draft paper/document with images as I browse thumbnails and articles without leaving the browser screen....
No way to select multiple areas of the screen and have them imported/clipboard copied as individual selections(check mockup imagery)

OK we have no SPen pressure detection at the moment and SPen is just a pointing device to a toucvhwiz free ROM , fine. All should be sufficient to achieve
SPen Screenshot integration like I outlined in the mockup images.

Please excuse my ignorance and share everything that can be done to improve the SPen screenshot situation!!!
 

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{Diemex}

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2011
393
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Germany
I started trying to get a simple screencapper to work similiar to the one included in touchwiz roms.
What is working:
  • Taking screenshots - root required
  • Interception of taps
  • Selection of the crop area above other apps
  • Cropping of the screenshots to the rectangular selection
What still needs to be fixed/improved:
Atm you start the screencapper it will intercept all touch events. You basically can't use any other apps and have to somehow kill it. I still have to figure out how to toggle interception on/off. Pressing the spen button while it is touching the screen should toggle interception needed for the selection of the area for the screenshot. Releasing the button should return to a state where other apps can be used again.

Pressure and the button state seems to be working correctly. The mouse pointer is just visual, stylus functionality is working correctly.

I have very little time, I have to study for exams. Nevertheless I'm interested in getting a functional app at some stage.
 

xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
96
25
0
I started trying to get a simple screencapper to work similiar to the one included in touchwiz roms.
What is working:
  • Taking screenshots - root required
  • Interception of taps
  • Selection of the crop area above other apps
  • Cropping of the screenshots to the rectangular selection
What still needs to be fixed/improved:
Atm you start the screencapper it will intercept all touch events. You basically can't use any other apps and have to somehow kill it. I still have to figure out how to toggle interception on/off. Pressing the spen button while it is touching the screen should toggle interception needed for the selection of the area for the screenshot. Releasing the button should return to a state where other apps can be used again.

Pressure and the button state seems to be working correctly. The mouse pointer is just visual, stylus functionality is working correctly.

I have very little time, I have to study for exams. Nevertheless I'm interested in getting a functional app at some stage.
What app are you using to achieve that?
There is a Mac app Screencapper but nothing on Androd Google play with that name.
I tried using a dozen+ screenshot apps with variable degrees of success. None of them gets me close to a touchwiz ROM like screencapture setup.

Its interesting that the SPen button and stroke pressure work for you.
A few posters on the thread suggested that SPen functionality like stroke pressure and button are not working in Lollipop based roms at the moment.
Are you using a KitKat based rom with CM spen app and the SPen SDK for that functionality?
 
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{Diemex}

Senior Member
Jan 30, 2011
393
96
0
Germany
I wrote the app myself. There are some screenshot apps but I couldnt find one that was designed for spen. Maybe there is one that allows cropping of the screenshot afterwards.
I tested stylus input with cm 12, you can try it yourself. Link is in my signature.
 

Pazzu510

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
318
59
48
What app are you using to achieve that?
There is a Mac app Screencapper but nothing on Androd Google play with that name.
I tried using a dozen+ screenshot apps with variable degrees of success. None of them gets me close to a touchwiz ROM like screencapture setup.

Its interesting that the SPen button and stroke pressure work for you.
A few posters on the thread suggested that SPen functionality like stroke pressure and button are not working in Lollipop based roms at the moment.
Are you using a KitKat based rom with CM spen app and the SPen SDK for that functionality?
Oh, sorry if i didnt explained myself correctly. First of all, pressure, hover and button click work correctly on cyanogenmod, that information is correctly taken by the kernel and given to the system. If an app can work with that information through Samsung or other libraries their app will work as intended just like papyrus, write, wacom, etc.
What does not work, or to express it correctly, is not implemented yet, is the broadcast of some information taken correctly by the kernel that should be sent to the system as broadcasts. These information are the gestures we all know like pen attachment dettachment, pen button+hover, pen double tap, and these broadcasts are the ones that would permit the developer to imitate some of touchwiz main features.
A very silly example of what broadcast like these would create:
hey, the user just double tapped the screen with his SPen, is there any app that wants to open itself when this happens? perhaps you SuperDuperNote app? maybe you TotalyLegitActionMemo app?
So there are no broadcasts and we developers have no easy way to act to these gestures system wide, anywhere on your screen and on any app that is opened at the moment just like samsung does with ActionMemo on "button+doubletap", or ActionMenu on "button+Hover".
With this in mind the developer would have to do one of 3 things.
Give up and do apps that only react to EPen information(Pressure, hover, button click) through Samsung or Other SDK(Wacom, Papyrus, Write, Spaste)
Intercept the Spen events with root and be a very skillfull programer to something like our friend @{Diemex} is doing.
Install CM SPen companion app and act to the broadcasts like we should be able to, but be dependent on those free app functions or whether the user want to buy the pro version of the same.
 
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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
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I've sent an email to the CM SPen Addon developer to see what his frame of mind is like regarding CM12.
His app had the attach/detached covered ok in CM 11 so maybe he has a good angle on getting the functionality registered in CM12.
 
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Pazzu510

Senior Member
Dec 10, 2010
318
59
48
I've sent an email to the CM SPen Addon developer to see what his frame of mind is like regarding CM12.
His app had the attach/detached covered ok in CM 11 so maybe he has a good angle on getting the functionality registered in CM12.
He has explained that it would be rather easy if these broadcast code would be implemented directly into the rom. You can see the post here, it is a good read.

With the understanding of that, and too have a real impact on how broad the apps based on this can be, the important thing would be to make this changes and commit them on cm code. That way, any device with an spen could install cyanogen mod(or any rom based on cyanogenmod) and access apps intended to use this broadcasts. If it is not that way, our apps would be limited to those devices that run only the roms that make the code available, let it be "Cm12 rayman edition" or anything like that. I dont see this as a great idea because the apps made will have little to no compatibility.

What i see as a viable option, until those commits are on cyanogenmod code at least, is to analyze the code behind CM S Pen add-on(Its in github if i recall correctly) and see how they are looking for the kernel event changes. This would work in any device with spen and asking for root in cm is not difficult at all. Any app could start the tracking service for this events and act accordingly that way. My only worry is that if you have, say, 4 or 5 apps with its own service it would probably drain battery life. Another option would be to have a big project with all the functions in one app, but big projects mean few people to make it work and not many have the knowledge, the time or the passion to do such thing; even less when you think that the target market for this project is not big. Sadly, I count myself as a passionate amateur, I dont have the knowledge to do such things.
 
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xda_nikita

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2014
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CM12(RaymanFX) with build 12/15/2014 has now been tested with CM SPen add-on and Notebuddy.
SPen Attach and detach triggers are detected and broadcast with the latest build!


What are the best apps to use with Notebuddy ??
 

KrakenFrack

New member
Dec 23, 2014
2
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0
Developers help, enlightenment and info needed to improve Spen integration in CM 12 dramatically!
I recently bought this device purely for the spen functionality and hate touchwiz with a passion. I'm a design student and will be using Sketchbook (the paid version) for the majority of the time. All the applications mentioned are focused towards note taking, whereas I'm primarily concerned with correct pressure sensitivity/stoke accuracy.

I'll flash the rom when I get my hands on one, might donate if all goes well!