The digital memo apps market is already quite crowded with the likes of Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote to name a few. So when Google launched its Keep service last week, it got everyone scratching their heads. So let’s check it out.
Google Keep aims to be a deeply integrated and do-it-all app for all your note-taking and daily tasks. Google Keep is currently available only as an Android app for smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 and above users, and in the browser at drive.google.com/keep. Even though Google is offering a way to get at your notes from your PC or laptop, don’t think for a second that this app was designed for both desktops and mobile devices. Keep is all about creating notes on your Android smartphone or tablet and then accessing them from anywhere. You can certainly create new notes using Keep on the desktop, but the web version for desktops comes with some limitations that the mobile version doesn’t have. The best thing about Keep is certainly that being integrated with Google Drive, it makes it so much easier to access the notes from anywhere.
The entire UI of the app is simple, sleek, and basic but in a pleasing 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 through regular text entries, dictated text with voice and recorded sound. Then there are the tasks and checklists, though the only uploading options are for pictures, not videos.
Every note made can be searched and is displayed right under the menu bar. The notes are displayed by default in a grid view, but a single column view is available as well. Tapping on a note opens it up in full screen view, and swiping a note to the left or right in the main screen archives it. Archived stuff can be viewed by tapping the three-square icon in the upper right-hand corner and selecting “Archived notes.” There is also color, yes. Each note can be color-coded by tapping the color palette icon when viewing notes in full screen. There are currently eight colors to choose from, including basic white. On the other hand, there are no tags or notebooks to file notes in so color-codes are really the only way to go. And like every other thing on Google, whatever you create on Keep can also be shared with other people.
Widgets, we have noticed, are usually botched up in the app world. But Google Keep does a good job. There are three widgets in all, two for the lock screen and one for the desktop. The desktop widget, though, is essentially same as the more basic lock screen widget. The lock screen widget lets you scroll through all your notes, as well as create new ones.
All in all, if all you need is a fast and easy way to make lists and notes then Keep is just the right fit for you. The app looks great and works great. Also, there is Google’s solid track data storage reliability. But Google’s simplicity, while aesthetically pleasing, limits what you can actually do with the app. Also, the amazing voice-to-text conversion Keep shows makes one wonder if Google is laying the groundwork for introducing Glass one day. Let’s end it on a positive note (‘note’, get it?) that Keep definitely shows a lot of promise and it will be very interesting to see how it is received by people and how it evolves with time.
Do leave your feedback about the Keep as comments below!