After a brief early appearance, Google Keep, the note-taking app from the search giant, is now live. Google has officially unveiled Keep via a blog post, complete with a video detailing how it works, and there’s an Android app too, available through Google Play for devices running Android 4.0 and up.
Keep was created by Google to satisfy the need of having to take down info quickly without a pen or paper handy, software engineer Katherine Kuan explains in the official blog post. The app is simple, allowing you to either type or quickly record and transcribe voice memos and lists, as well as take and pin photos, which are synced to the web-based dashboard for easy retrieval later.
The Android app has a widget to let you easily create and access notes from your home screen, and there’s also a lock screen widget for handsets with Android 4.2 or higher. The interface in the app itself is simple enough, presenting notes created with Keep in a mosaic layout, complete with color customization entries for individual entries, and drag-and-drop rearrangement for prioritization.
If anyone will be looking closely at Keep and how it succeeds with users, it’s Evernote. The note-taking company has built its entire brand on letting users quickly and easily create cloud-stored memos and notebooks. Evernote’s product is much more full-featured than what Google offers today with Keep, and available on a lot more platforms. But Google is at least staking out its claim in this territory, which is a bit ironic given that Evernote grew quickly on the back of Google’s decision to shutter Notebook once upon a time.
Eventually, Google says that it will add support for creating and viewing Keep notes directly from Google Drive, which could help spur adoption among users already on Drive for its document creation capabilities and cloud file storage. The app also has a search function, as well as the ability to switch between multi-and single-column view, and note archiving. It’s a small but flexible addition to the Android toolbox, and the lock and home screen widgets make it particularly useful in that context.
Sarah made vocal her doubts about trusting such a service in the wake of Google’s “spring cleaning” track record on Monday, however. And as mentioned, Google has explored similar territory before. Will that keep (pun definitely not intended) users away? It seems unlikely to have a strong impact either way, given the apparently casual aim of this service, but it’ll be interesting to see if there are trust issues with Keep’s launch.