Note taking apps aren’t new to mobile so it’s a surprise that Google has made such a late entry to market in introducing Google Keep. There are dozens of note taking apps with Evernote, Springpad and Wunderlist dominating the market. Fans of these apps will testify to the importance of easy of use and cross platform compatability. So does Google Keep offer anything new?
Prior to Google Keep there was no default note taking app for Android, a glaring hole considering iPhone has them built in. Google set about creating a heavily integrated service hooking into existing functions and services. Information such as notes, photos and audio notes can all be captured and synchronised and access later via Google Drive on a PC or Mobile web browser.
The user interface is extremely clean, ordered and easy to understand perhaps an advantage for new users over the apps mentioned above which have become increasingly clunky and feature laden. Notes are ordered by date into selectable coloured tiles. A simple swipe can be used to discard old notes. Notes can be recorded in a number of ways, currently supported are text input, dictated text via voice, recorded dictation and photos. Omitted at this time is video support and the app doesn’t support photo capture directly for some reason. Checklists can also be added to notes which is handy fro tracking subtasks. In terms of setting reminders Google Keep doesn’t seem to have any set notifications as yet, so we’re assuming such an important feature must follow soon.
A handy lockscreen widget is available for Android 4.2+ users to take quick notes without the requirement of unlocking your device and opening the app. All notes are synchronised to Google Drive, so it’s possible to open Drive on a web browser to later edit and order notes as needed on a larger screened device.
So Google Keep currently offers nothing new feature wise in comparison to other major note taking apps. The app is in no way as feature rich as Evernote and serves no challenge to its existing users. Evernote additionally includes handwriting recognition, barcode scanning. Simplicity for new users and integration of Google services for existing users seems the biggest plus. There is a lot of catching up to do but as with everything Google, expect further refinements and features to follow soon. Google Keep is currently available on Google play for phones and tablets. No details have been announced for other platforms as yet.