Two months after most of the rest of the world got it and three months after it leaked, AT&T and Samsung are rolling out the Android 4.0 "Premium Suite" update for the Galaxy Note. The update will officially go out tomorrow, July 10th, but Samsung should be updating a testing site for a few lucky users later today. The Android 4.0 update adds all the usual fixings we know and love from Ice Cream Sandwich, including the new multitasking menu (accessible by holding down the home button), Face Unlock, data management, and Android Beam for sending information via NFC. Notably (no pun intended), this update is pretty much identical to the international update, so those hoping to get access to the massive list of features on the Galaxy S III will have to start waiting all over again.
Samsung is calling this the "Premium Suite" instead of just an Android 4.0 update, and the reasoning is that the company has also tossed in some Note-specific features. The biggest update comes to S-Note, which now has a new function menu which can do a few neat tricks. It can interpret shapes and re-draw them as proper polygons instead of scribbles and it can also directly convert your handwriting into text. The latter function may appeal to those who are sick of switching the keyboard into a handwriting area, but it was enough of a hassle in our testing to make us say that you won't really want to use this for serious text entry.
S-Note is also now hooked into Wolfram Alpha. You can enter mathematical formulae or even direct questions with the S-Pen and S-Note will convert it to text and then ping Wolfram's massive data analysis engine to give you an answer. S-Note can also import PDFs for annotation. Lastly, Samsung has also created an S-Memo widget and has made the cutesy My Story greeting-card app available for Note users in Google Play.
In all, we found that performance seems better on Android 4.0 than it was before, but that's to be expected with the back-end improvements that update has on top of Android 2.3. Of course, we know that Android 4.1 is even faster still, but there's no word on if or when Samsung will provide that update on any of its non-Nexus devices.