After initially leaking and then being removed, today Google pulled the trigger on their new note-taking app Google Keep. Just like many of their current services like Google Now, Google Keep aims to be a deeply integrated and do-it-all app for all your note-taking and daily tasks. With integration into your account and Google Drive (get started here) Google Keep looks to take on Evernote, Any.DO and more.
There really isn't a ton of things to say here when it comes to Google Keep. This is an app to take notes, record tasks, make journal entries if you will, and a few other things. Google explains it by saying "Keep captures quick notes and saves them safely in the cloud for easy access wherever you are." The user interface is extremely polished and clean, like many things from Google, and for an initial release this is certainly a good start. Keep is dead simple to understand, but still manages to be aesthetically pleasing. We're digging it!
The entire UI is simple, sleek, and basic. As we mentioned above, however, it's in a good way. Essentially with Google Keep you'll be recording tasks or jotting down notes in a variety of ways. For this initial release it offers note-taking via regular text entry, dictated text with voice, recorded sound (with dictation), and of course photos if they want to take on Evernote and the others. Then of course we have tasks and checklists, but this first launch doesn't appear to offer any video uploading options. Only pictures. We'd also like to be able to use images from gallery, not just taking a new photo.
Initially we really like what we see, but until they add additional options that Evernote offers we still see it reigning king of this segment. Evernote offers everything that Keep does but also allows for written notes with skitch, sound, video, images, and you can even search images, scan barcodes, or even business cards and save them. There's a lot of catching up for Google, if they do intend to go that route.
With Keep you can add photos to any note, but so far automatic photo uploads or images from the gallery things seem a bit unclear. Then there doesn't appear to be alerts or notifications. If you want to set a deadline for a note or a task with a reminder, we'll probably be waiting for that feature. On the other hand, you do get lock screen and homescreen widget support which is awesome, and of course the UI is great.
Pro tip: For adding notes quickly without unlocking your device use the lock screen widget (on devices running Android 4.2+)
As you see in the image above, the top row has a few simple icons for quickly taking a note to Keep for later. With a single click from here (or the widget) you can type a note, create a list with the checkmark, use dictation to record audio and take notes, then of course add an image. It really is dead simple, sleek, and easy to use.
Obviously once you're done all of these notes are near instantly saved to the cloud for instant viewing across all your devices whether it be smartphone, on a laptop, PC, or tablet. It's what you're able to do with the notes and options once taken that are limited. Don't worry though, Google probably has plenty of additional features up their sleeves and coming soon. Get it right now from the Google Play Store!
Google Keep looks great so far, but we have to ask. Will this be replacing Evernote or other note-taking apps for you?