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How to use the Galaxy Note 8’s Live Messages

How to use the Galaxy Note 8’s Live Messages

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

One of the cool new features on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is Live Messages, a fun new addition that lets you draw animated messages to send to your friends. To access live messages, simply take the S Pen out from the device, hit the grey pen icon that pops up, and select “live message.”

That’ll pop up the Live Messages window, where you can draw your own custom message. On the top left of the window, there are a couple of icons, each providing different options for the pen. The leftmost icon lets you choose between regular lines, a glowing effect, and a sparkling line effect that’s become the most well known of the three. There’s also options for changing how thick the lines are, and a choice of colors. When you’re drawing your message, be aware that you can mix pen sizes and colors, but everything has to be the same effect — so if you’re drawing in sparkling lines, everything has to be in sparkling lines.

Since Live Messages are animated, replaying the pen strokes in real time, there’s a limit to how much you can draw with a Live Message, too — up to 15 seconds worth of active drawing. (The Live Message app doesn’t count pauses between strokes, though, so you can take all the time you need to adjust your settings.)

There’s also a “background” button to the top right that lets you take an existing photo from your gallery on your phone or a different solid color and use that as a background to draw on top of.

Lastly at the bottom of the window, there are three more buttons: an “undo” key that removes your last stroke, a “reset” button that wipes the message clean, and a “play” button that previews the final result.

Once you’ve finished your message, hitting “done” will save the image as a GIF. If you’re in an app that accepts text input, it’ll also automatically import it to the text field as an image to send (although it’s worth noting that not all messaging apps support GIFs, so depending on what you’re using it may not work properly). If you’re not in a messaging app, hitting done will just save it straight to your gallery as a GIF to use later.