What is Google Keep? A Review
Once a year, Google releases their spring cleaning list, announcing apps and services they consider unused or dispensable in their large arsenal of tools. This year they announced a big one, the discontinuation of Google Reader. Despite its underground success with folks as a RSS reader since 2005, it didn't seem to be the right fit in their ecosystem moving forward. Instead they came up with a long overdue note taking app that may eventually be taking its place, Google Keep.
What is Keep?
Keep is a clean, minimalistic note keeping system that synchronizes across your devices and the web. It allows you to quickly jot down ideas, create checklists and even add snippets/links of content you want to remember to access later. All of this is directly connected to Drive, allowing you to search and archive efficiently.
To create a note, you can either choose to start with an open text box or a checklist option. Once created, you can choose to add images, links and customize the note by color. You also have the option to trash notes you no longer deem necessary or archive them for future access.
At the moment, the only dedicated app is for Android and can found in the Google Play store. There are a few notable features including the ability to save voice memos and even have them transcribed directly to keep. More importantly, the android version includes a widget that can quickly be accessed directly from the lock screen without having to open the app each time.
As an iPhone user, I have a tendency to write ideas and shopping lists quite often on the default notes app in iOS. While the app can be useful, it only syncs via icloud with other apple devices and is limited to only basic text. Having the ability to sync with the Google ecosystem has become a necessity when it comes to most things. Since the release of Keep, my usage of the default notes app has dropped significantly. It is worth noting that Google has yet to release an official app for iOS but the web version works great for the time being.
Compared to competitors such as Evernote, Keep is definitely limited. For power users, you will be missing things such as the ability to share notes with others, format and stylize text, or group notes together. With that said, Google has a tendency to release updates quite frequently and chances are a lot of those missing features will be added in the future. For moderate users like myself, looking for basic note taking/list creation and the ability to sync across multiple devices, the clean minimalistic style of Keep looks to be the perfect fit.
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