Google Keep

Google's own note taking app, Google Keep, has just gone live and official. The service allows users to do more than just jot down ideas and thoughts, there is annotations, the ability to add pictures, voice notes, and color coding and lists to keep things organized. The included home screen widget even lets us create and view notes from our home screen without opening the app.

To make things even better, everything it integrated into your Google Drive account. This means anywhere you have access to the web you have access to your notes. You can have a look at that here.

The app is pretty simple, but the integration with Drive is a pretty "killer feature". Grab it from the Google Play link above, and hit the break for a short video.

More: Google

There are 80 comments

cgk says:

I'll stick with evernote - regardless of how good the service is - notes are Evernote's core business, with Google, they could pull the plug when they get bored.

nathans77 says:

Like cgk said, it could be gone, but I'll tinker with it.

I'll stick with Springpad for note-taking.

cybercrs says:

I second Springpad. It's too feature rich and well designed to trade for a simplified Google product (no offense Google!)

icebike says:

Not shedding evernote for yet another passing Google fancy only to be disappointed in a year or so after they get done scanning everything I've saved and realize there is no way for them to monetize it.

BlowingNose says:

I'll stick with Note Room. I dont like Evernotes because it can do so many thing I dont event want. I just want to write and read simple text. No pictures, nothing else than text. The same is about google keep.

Gimik says:

Weird. I've read a few times now how people dont trust Google to keep their service active.

Anyway, I'm in. This looks pretty damn cool.

People are still butt hurt over the Google Reader thing, and throwing sarcasm at Google any which way they can like a small child. I used Reader, I liked it a lot, but it's not a gotta have service like Gmail or Search by any means.

Anyway, Keep is literally an extension of Drive, which is certainly not going anywhere.

Floss82 says:

Lol ^^^ I'm still going to give it a shot anyways

blackbyrd says:

That's a really good point. I was just thinking if I should give up evernote for this, but truly you never know when Goog is gonna pull the plug on a service!

rryyaannbb says:

The only reason it's not so good atm for me is because there are no indents or lists within lists. I need lists within lists. LISTCEPTION.

I'll stick with Hotmail, cause you can't trust Google to keep services alive.

Darth Spock says:

That's why I still plow my fields with a horse and manual plow. Can't trust John Deere to keep making those fancy tractors.

84guy says:

pretty sure its different then that, John Deeres business is tractors. Googles is ads. if Google feels like they are not making money with Keep. they will shut it down

still1 says:

google is never ever going to make money of keep. its a service intended for Android.
Android lacked a note taking app. this is to fill that gap.
its like saying Google will shutdown calendar because its not making money.
its a service which makes people stick with google.

mportuesisf says:

This would be easier to believe if not for the fact Google canceled this product once already. It was called Google Notebook. If they canceled it once, they can cancel it again.

icebike says:


People around here seem to have short memories.
Here is a refresher course for you gullible souls:

All this app is, is a front end for a folder in Google Drive that carries an intent that Android devices can use. It's not a new service of any sort, or even a new idea -- just a pretty way to do what you could already do using the newly released Google Drive API.

That doesn't make it a bad thing, but it does make it something that affects no one if it disappears. People will just  have to use the Drive app instead of Keep + the Drive API.

borgdog says:

That's almost as sad as the Ben and Jerry's graveyard. Not really.

Broadwing says:

I so get your 'sky isn't falling' point, and you do really have a point. But, just in the last month:
-Reader. Enough said there.
-I went to upload vacation photos to Picasa. Spiffy new Plusified uploader? Nice. Oh, wait, it downsamples all my photos. The old Picasa uploader is hidden behing a 'old Picasa' link, but clearly that's on its way out too. So, back to Flickr after a multi-year absence.

I'm kind of a Google diehard and I'm starting to lose confidence in non-searchy services. One positive thing that can be said is they DO give plenty of time and make it easy to get your stuff out, but...

brendilon says:

Reader has low usage numbers, ergo, it gets the axe. Especially as its functionality is largely covered by Currents. Google isn't killing Reader so much as they're pushing people to Currents, just as they didn't so much kill Google Video as push people to Youtube. Ditto kiling google notepad, which was actually a push to Google Docs.

darksine says:

well said

icebike says:

Um, Google IS KILLING READER period, end of sentence.

And currents is not a good substitute.

brendilon says:

Currents could certainly be better. Who's to say it won't be by the time reader is shut down?
Oh, right, the freakaholics who flip out simply because something is different, regardless of whether it is actually better.

Technology marches on while Chicken Little runs around screaming that the sky is falling.

SteelGator says:

I am not sure how Currents can be seen as a replacement for Reader. Currents is only for mobile devices, and does not allow users to read nearly the volume of Reader.

brendilon says:

... right now. It's not like there aren't months until that happens.

still1 says:

You the man!

brendilon says:

One quick comparison.
~10 million people use Google reader. For those of you who think that's a lot, Gmail has over 400million users (as of a year ago). it's a niche tool which has functionality covered by other tools Google has already developed. I'm sure some people will still be shouting about the value of RSS 10 years from now, just like the folks in my industry who cling to 2d CAD drafting rather than moving on to 3D modeling.
If you don't evolve, you die. Google knows this and knows that Reader is dying, they have the usage statistics after all and can see which way the numbers are going. If they were going up they wouldn't have to put Reader to sleep.

StoneRyno says:

How do you get the RSS experience without a RSS reader? Currents et. al. apps like it are not RSS readers they are intended to take articles from feeds and present a magazine like experience. Not the user experience the users of apps and service like Google reader (which is a modern version of older news platforms like Usenet) are looking for. If you look at RSS readers as a whole it's not a niche user base. A quick search reveals info that there are as many as 275 million RSS users. Obviously not all using the same clients. Considering there are as many as or more than 100 options available for RSS users, 10 million users is a good number of the whole using the one choice of all those available. So if RSS is antiquated and there is a better service offering the same content delivery in a better way then why does every site out there offer RSS feeds, there are possibly over 100 options to read this feeds, and over 200 million users of RSS? And why has nobody using RSS heard of this superior service delivering the same content?

kamiller42 says:

So, Google is pushing a product with low usage numbers to an app with even lower usage numbers? I don't know exact numbers, but it can be safely assumed since Currents has a tiny fraction of entrance ramps compared to Google Reader.

I think Google exaggerates the low GR usage number problem. Feedly picked up 500,000 new accounts post-GR announcement. That's nothing to sneeze at. And there are hundreds of thousands who did not sign up with Feedly, like me, or chose other avenues.

To put it another way, there are more Google Reader users than Chrome OS users. Yet, GR gets the ax.

The lack of trust Google is building is warranted. People see the killing of GR as one example of it. Why didn't they simply integrate into one of their other services? What's going on with Google Voice? It's gets no updates either. Should Google be surprised if they see no growth there? Look how long people asked for a public API for Google Tasks. Finally got one, and Google has done nothing more. They don't have to keep up with their competition in tasks management, which is leaving them in the dust, but at least make some improvements. Get busy growing or get busy dying.

still1 says:

don't be dumb. Google reader and keep is entirely different service.
Google is not pushing keep from reader.Keep is filling a gap in android, a note taking app. if you are even an android user you will notice that android app has more feature than the web.

kamiller42 says:

"One of their other services" doesn't necessarily mean Google Keep. Don't be dumb.

Keep is filling a gap on Android? Yea, note taking apps are hard to find on Android. :-\

brendilon says:

Google is retiring an old system in favor of a newer one. If Reader was a growing service, they wold keep using it. But it's not, even though Android and Google tool adoption is growing across the board. So it gets the axe.

When you're dealing with 400-600 million users, 500,000 isn't even a blip, it's a fading fart from a blip.

AS for Google Voice... read a tech article now and then outside of AC and you might hear about Babble.

dbareis says:

Reader functionality is not supported by Currents, or at least I don't know how to use Currents from my Windows machine or from a browser.

brendilon says:

And there's no way that google could possibly put together a web interface for something like Currents in under three months, right?

Adamsville says:


borgdog says:

hotwhat? LOL

Cory S says:

I've started to become more and more paranoid Google will ax Google Voice being there hasn't been any updates to it in forever.

brendilon says:

It's a fair concern, but I think the reason we aren't seeing more tweaks to GVoice is twofold.
1. It's tied into the telecomm industry and Google is still fighting against the likes of ATT about whether they're now a telecomm company and dealing wit the attendant regulatory headaches.
2. This:
Google is uniting its messaging platforms under one umbrella. I expect eventually Voice will join under that umbrella as well, if it doesn't right from the start.

tr-1 says:

I'm pretty sure it's #2. I haven't seen any updates (except when we went to 4.2.1 and G Voice had a major bug) for any messaging apps. Google Blabber is coming to KLP and then JB

RonD says:

I like your name 'blabber' better than Googles 'babble'.

LaFlamme says:

Me too. And for some of us, that would be a disaster of Googilian proportions.

svinyard says:

Here is what I really need. I need this fancy note taking program (keep or whatever), I need to be able use Google Voice Search to enter notes into as in "Note - Call John tomorrow about car mechanic".

That note needs to be dumped in. Now, I also need a decent widget I can put on my homescreen that displays the active notes or tasks. Ultimately this could simply be Google Tasks BUT it isn't freakin integrated with Voice Search. The Note to Self command in the Voice Search is just a stupid email and not good enough. I know some Apps out there can give you a button to launch voice stuff but I have the single Google Voice Search button already mapped to a hardware key. I should need to go and setup a widget button to do this too.

Cory S says:

Keep integrates with Google Now for voice commands.

svinyard says:

Can I create a task from Google Now???? I'm sure, just like all the rest, I can open the app and hit a button to then launch the Voice Command where I can create a task. Heaven forbid I do this directly from Voice Search or Google Now of which I already have a very nice button mapped to my phone. Who wants to have to open the app or go to your homescreen to do all this. What if I'm in the car. Its stupidly redundant that this isn't better. This has been asked for for years (Google Tasks integration) to no avail.

That being said, I'd love to be the idiot here that just missed this and it actually does have bi-directional integration with Google Voice Search.

Nexuslover27 says:

I just checked - you can do this. The first time you use the "note to self" voice command, it will ask you which app to default to when saving the note. Choose Keep, and you are good to go!

EDIT: Weirdly though, it saves a recording, including the "note to self" part!

svinyard says:

Dude, thanks man! I am the idiot. Been wanting this integration with Google Tasks for years now here it is with Keep. Should do just fine. Thanks!

wsmather says:

I can't. No matter what I tried, there was no opportunity to change the default save to Keep instead of creating an email. Also, Keep is not yet an integrated part of the Google "black" toolbar. Clicking on Drive is not better, as the folder these notes are saved to does not appear. The only way to access notes is to use the direct email address link. I've got it bookmarked.

mmark27 says:

anyone able to get the web version to work? No joy for me on Chrome and Firefox.

EDIT: now working.

BRM says:

Still got a sour taste in my mouth about thanks. Springpad will still be here me thinks.

terik says:

Link broken.....not found in Play store.....what goes? It's good now..never mind..gonna check it out.

Gimik says:

Just read that it's searchable through google voice search and google now. Interesting.

Jay Holm says:

Ohhhhhnly compatible with Android 4.0+!!!
Not happy about that!
I'm waiting for the Snapdragon 800 to reach smartphones
before upgrading, so I'm stuck on 2.3.6 for another 6mo's.

So now I have yo wait to try Chrome and Keep.

Ry says:

Let's see if this can replace Evernote for me.

mlacla22 says:

Just one more way for Google to get MORE information about us...

Count me in!!

Timbitman says:

This is brilliant! I'm already using it!

StuartV says:

Can you use it from a Windows PC? Let me guess, do it in my browser?

Okay, but is there a way to mark notes to be stored offline on all my client devices, so I can access them on any client device at any time - say, when I'm stuck on an airplane?

Until we can tag our notes this will never come close to Evernote. Currently it is best suited for short notes with a short lifespan, like grocery lists. If you put too much in there you won't be able to find anything. (Yes, you can search, but without tags you might have to put in a lot in the search query, or have a long title for each note)

frozencloud says:

Exactly what I was thinking. Unless we can label, tag or create folders, it wont be my default note app. It's currently state is pretty decent though and I like how it could be integrated with G-Drive and G-Now.

marcus.plans says:

That's what I'm waiting for as well! Give me the ability to make different folders and I'm sold. I'll definitely use Keep for short, quick notes, though, but, until I can organize (and even sort) my notes, I'll have to keep Evernote. Tags are also needed.

I experimented and put a random hashtag in a note and it's searchable, but it should still be integrated into the system (kind of like how Blogger does with your tags so you can quickly choose ones you've already used).

brendilon says:

After messing with this a bit, I like this tool a lot. I'll still keep Freenote around for handsketching, but this is very handy.

Ooooh. Just tried it out. I like it. It's fast and notes can be rearranged! Much better than my HTC note widget that stopped working when they bumped us to ICS on my EVO 3D.

svinyard says:

Can I create a Task from Google Now or Google Voice Search yet???

svinyard says:

This jack a$$ ^^

A gentleman above confirmed this can now be done. Google Keep fully integrated with Google Voice Search. This must be why Google Tasks has been neglected for years. This alone makes this VASTLY superior to anything else.

svinyard says:

OK played around with this a bit. Pretty slick app, though seems more geared for the creative types just trying to grab general info and dump it somewhere. I'm fine with it as is save for the lack of any sort of reminder ability. Though I'm sure this will evolve with time. Also needs a widget that shows the latest notes.

Hmm doesn't seem like it's available in Australia yet. Hopefully it'll be available soon.

rap1 says:

I'll probably check it out but count me among those who don't trust google to keep things around anymore. I use Catch/AK Notepad now for this type of thing. I'd use evernote but to get offline notebooks you have to be a premium user.

Shadrach#AC says:

Would be nice if it supported rich text formatting (bold and underline, at least) and indented lists (as someone already mentioned).

Edit: and links!!

John-Smith says:

Insider sources tell me that Google will be doing away with Google Tasks, because of this app. Friend of mine isn't too happy since he uses Google Reader daily and has a TON of things on Gtasks.

vinny jr says:

Great app. Like the way it is tied in with Google Drive. Android user and nut have to use this app, Google put their name on it.

LaFlamme says:

Evernote is one of the few applications that never lets me down, never frustrates me and never leaves me worried that they'll shut the door and move out of town. There's absolutely no way I would give it up for yet another Google product with it's "my way or the highway" interface and the always looming prospect that they'll fall out of love with their own product right around the time you're coming to depend on it. For me, the Google honeymoon is over and the sleeping-in-separate-beds phase has begun. I'll stick with my mistress Evernote, thang you ver' mush. She's hot!

ronmckown says:

If you don't mind if your data becomes available for public consumption, then I agree with you.

The issue with Evernote is their security policies...they don't have any. They lawyer up when issues of prviacy come up, but their security model is a joke. I don't know for sure, but their key management seems immature and without access controls.

We can talk about the number of times hackers have been navigating and sitting like ducks on their internal networks, but what's the point?

Evernote was specifically designed for folks to upload public, non-classified or non-sensitive data. Period.

jeregano says:

Ok, I'll give it a try. You know what I'd really love to have in this, or any note taking app, integration of the hand writing recognition that's available on mobile If I could use that for writing notes that would be awesome.

etnpnys says:

I'm sorry - where is the annotating in this app?

toddjy says:

Renaming Google Docs to Google Drive was the stupidest thing Google ever did. I just want to use Google's office suite, not save files to the cloud.

DWEIL says:

I'm going to start using this as soon as I get done exploring all the new features in the Google Reader update...

biggbrother2 says:

Well I'm really not sure if I want to start using yet another new Google service. Funny in the demo video the guy takes a photo of a guitar and says this is the guitar he wants by the time he's 25. What's to say Google doesn't decide to shut Keep down in a couple of years and tell this guy he's on his own and has to dig through all these notes in his Drive account (or whatever Google has rebranded Drive as by then).

I'm a pretty diehard Google user (G1 and all Nexus dervices) but the this whole Reader shutdown business has left me wondering how much I really want to depend on a Google Service other than Search, Gmail, and Drive. If a low-maintenance product like Reader can have 10 Million users and still get shut down, how likely is Google Keep to survive?

I'll try it out but I now have that creeping doubt in my mind that any Google service (except Gmail) is living on borrowed time.

return_0 says:

Oop. Guess I'll have to start using Bing now that I can't trust Google to keep their services. And I'd better port my email to Hotmail, too. Oh, and I think I should start moving all my Drive documents over to Office. I think I should also start using Internet Explorer. And hopefully I can find a buyer on Ebay for my N4, since you never know when Google will cut support for it. In fact, Android will probably get killed off soon, so this entire website should be shut down. Oh well.

duanedude1 says:

I'm liking Keep so far, it may replace Evernote for me... perhaps not.

MC Wong says:

There's one handy feature in Evernote where I can create notes via email. For eg. I receive flight details/confirmation from airlines and I just forward that to my Evernote email and a note is created for me. I can do that from my PC, Ipad, and any devices instead of copy & paste by hand. I have Evernote on laptop, ipad, and android phone...everything syncs nicely together. Google keep still not available on other devices and no email function.

StoneRyno says:

I don't see how this is any different than how I use Google docs which got integrated into Google drive. I needed access to all my notes from all my devices which all have different OSes. Google docs took care of that for me where others couldn't do that. Not even evernote due to a poor user experience for me. My notes are much more than simple lists or sticky note amount of text. Plus given Google's track record for canceling well established apps I'd be inclined to be concerned this would happen to this as well.