Google launches Keep, a note-taking app [VIDEO]

The other day, we were let in on an early sneak peak of Google Keep. The site went live ahead of Google’s readiness, but quickly went down and left us all watering at the mouth. Welp, fast forward to Wednesday and Keep has gone live at drive.google.com/keep, and it also has a nice application to go along with it in the Google Play Store.

Keep offers a lot more than we were originally lead to believe, which makes sense considering the first early look at the service didn’t look all that “done.” Welp, you can liken this to a nice, juicy rare steak now. Google Keep allows you to jot down your thoughts in pure text, create lists, add pictures with annotated text, and even take voice notes that can be transcribed to text. Notes can be color-coded, titled, searched for, and easily deleted at the swipe of your finger.

You can take notes using home-screen widgets and place those notes on your home-screen without having to go through the app. The app isn’t hugely complex, and that’s the very chord Google wanted to strike with this one — simplicity to create usefulness, and powerful enough to make it a must-have app on your device.

Its existence under the Google Drive URL means your notes stay backed up to your Google account, and you can access them from any device that has a web browser or a Google Keep app. Google says Keep will eventually be accessible right through the main Google Drive URL, but for now there is no direct integration. Enough said — give it a try at the website and in the Google Play Store here, and let us know what you think!

[Update]: The site is giving an error message right now, but it’s not a 404 page and it’s still live. Google has also officially announced it on its own blog so we’re fairly certain this wasn’t another slip-up. We’ll keep an eye on the site to see if things improve, but the site itself is still live so keep trying (no pun intended) over the course of the day.

[via Google]

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  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    Not quite ready…

    “”Oops! An error occurred.

    Please click here to reload the page.””

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Odd, it was working for me right before I published this article, and now I’m getting the same error. Well at least the site is up and running, and the app is available.

      • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

        Maybe you Slashdotted… er… Phandroid’d teh Google?! j/k

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          I can see my notes synced from my device, just can’t access them. :/

      • Del373

        Perhaps it’s become too popular too quickly? All the action crashed the server? BA HAHAHAHAHAHA!

        Seriously though if this ^ ever happens to Google, it’ll be a sign of the apocalypse.

    • Wilman Ulecia

      getting the same error

    • DavidVarghese

      Hmm… not getting that yet

  • Jayshmay

    Hmm, should I give this a try instead of Everyone?. . .

    • camelsnot

      try both. Evernote is more inclusive including ripping articles and photos from websites with the Clip to Evernote Chrome plugin. I feel it’s more robust but you can run into a wall with the free version if you use it quite often with images. Also, evernote is cross platform.. works on my ipad as well as my Rezound and on any desktop browser. It’s great to have flexibility when you need it.

  • Schaweet

    I think I’ll stick with Evernote.

  • Jack

    Step 1: Sit back and let the competitors settle on UIs that seem to work.

    Step 2: Release your own version, use your dominant position to starve the competitors of business.

    Step 3: Kill the service when you realise it’s not making you the money you’d hoped.

    • camelsnot

      poor kid.

    • Casin

      Reader was active for 8 years. Get over it. Google is not using its dominant position to do anything. People will choose the products they like and integration may be an important feature for some people.

  • Jayshmay

    Uh,… what’s this *CRAP*?!?!? It’s only compatible with Android 4.0+? Article didn’t mention that! Sheez!!! I really wanted to give this a try! Guess I’ll have to wait til I upgrade, which won’t be until the Snapdragon 800 reaches smartphones. . .

    • ilh

      You could always try it on the Web beforehand…

    • dreadnatty08

      You’re still on GB? Bahaha

  • http://www.spoilertv.com DarkUFO

    Pretty handy and simply. I don’t need something as fancy as Evernote and this will fit in just fine with my needs.

    Not bad for a first release.

  • shmigga

    Are those live tiles??? lol

  • Josh Paramore Hagan

    It’s not going to kill Evernote, but it will replace it for me, definitely. I found Evernote too clunky and feature-ridden for my needs. It was just more than it needs to be, for myself at least. And uploading a new .Doc everytime I want to jot something is a pain, so.

    • Julian Coronado

      Exactly! I’m uninstalling Evernote right now.

      • Josh Paramore Hagan

        Even when I had it, I just used it so infrequently because it was a hassle. I prefer something lightweight and clean for notes, it’s not like I’m drafting essays in my Evernote client.

        • http://twitter.com/drinus Adrian Scicluna

          I don’t know, guys. It’s all very nice but given their track record, what happens once they decide to retire the service? I think I’ll stay with Evernote at least a while longer.

          • Josh Paramore Hagan

            It’s not a given that they will. Not enough people used Reader for it to be worth keeping, to Google. And that couples with they really wanted to push Currents which is more Flipboard/Blinkfeed-esque over Reader, which is your standard RSS feed.

            Personally, I doubt they’d ever retire this, simply because of the integration with Drive. It might end up being consolidated into Drive fully, but I doubt it’ll get retired, well, ever.

  • CoronaDoug

    Just got it. This is what I needed. Simple and fast.

  • Jayshmay

    Unfortunately it requires 4.0+!!! Not happy about that!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Spencer-Mead/508355625 John Spencer Mead

      You still dont have 4.0…?

  • http://twitter.com/NERV_REl NERV

    I am using colornote and I will definitely try it out

  • Chris

    Looks pretty simple and functional, i like it

  • SoCoMagNuM

    This app is simple and awesome

  • Jonathan Levin

    Am I the only one who can’t find the widget?

    • http://www.facebook.com/harold.sargeant Harold Sargeant

      restart?

  • emajem_666i

    This needs Google now integration

    • toomuchgame441

      Great idea

      • Josh Paramore Hagan

        If only I knew how to code. Oh bother.

    • Josh Paramore Hagan

      I’m sure it’ll be baked into Key Lime Pie and legacy’d down with an app upgrade.

      What it really needs is a Dashclock extension. Like yesterday. God I love Dashclock

  • Treyhunnid

    i love how they still use the GNEX on these app showcases. :-) #GNEX4EVER

    • shadowslash

      Isnt it the Nexus 4? Wider screen and bigger bezel on the bottom.

      • Shawn_Locke

        It’s definitely a Galaxy Nexus, NOT a Nexus 4. You can tell by looking at the earpiece. The Galaxy Nexus speaker is “floating” between the screen and the edge of the phone while the Nexus 4′s speaker is flush with the edge.

      • Treyhunnid

        Nope. Notice the ear piece placement in middle of top bezel. The nexus 4 ear piece is at the very top of phone. :-)

    • Guest

      I with the whole #GNEX4EVER hashtag, but that’s totally a nexus 4 in the video

      • Heirloom

        Nope, that’s a GNex. The 4 has the speaker touching the bezel, GNex has it in the middle like that.

        • shadowslash

          Ah, completely missed the earpiece. The camera also looks more like the Galaxy Nexus too.

  • DavidVarghese

    It needs a feature where you can lock notes, so no one can access it without a password or something. For that reason, this can’t be my main note-taker app… but I’ll keep it (no pun intended) in hopes of more updates and features.

    • jfelts

      I highly agree. This is the same reason why I hardly use Google Drive. It doesn’t have the password feature that even Dropbox has.

    • Del373

      So you say you need to keep your special notes…

      *sunglasses*

      …in a password protected keep?

      YEEEAAAAAAAHHH!

      …I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  • ilh

    Nice and simple. If you don’t need the expansive features of the likes of Evernote then I’d say it’s a winner. 1 thing they’ve overlooked (or I’ve missed) is that you can create a sound recording from the home screen but not within a note itself.

  • http://twitter.com/707Sean Sean

    REQUIRES ANDROID:4.0.3 and up
    F / U / C / K YOU GOOGLE

  • victor montez

    About time! An app like this is WAY over due. Just recently started using Evernote but I’m gonna make the switch to keep. Oh stupid name too.. Haha

  • Barry D.

    Sadly Google only wants 50% of Android users to have access to this. :( I really need a new phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deepak.tom Deepak Thomas

    I’m defilitely ditching evernote!

  • ac

    Widgets sucks on Google Keep. No customization. I’m curious why they came out with this, instead of just integrating Tasks through Gmail. I prefer using that, along with the GTasks app (which has customizable widgets for homescreens). Much better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.keith.3910 Jason Keith

    great apps, for more free apps check out http://androidvnd.com