20
Mar
nexusae0_keep-512_thumb

The Google Keep Android app is out, and it is way more functional than the sparse web site. Allow me to show you around.

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There are two different views to Keep, a multi-column view and a single-column view. Multi-column is "pretty typography mode" and single column is all business. You can switch views with the menu button.

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There's about a million different ways to take notes: plain text, a checklist, a voice note (which transcribes and saves the audio), or you can take a picture with the camera. Check list items have little draggable handles on them.

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Just like Gmail, archiving a note is as easy swiping it away, and, just like Gmail, there's a handy "undo" popup. When you archive something, the other notes smoothly slide over to fill in the empty space. It's really slick. This app is beautiful.

To get to your archived notes, just scroll to the bottom of your notes (or use the menu button). Archived notes are presented in a cool washed-out view.

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You can select multiple notes by long-pressing. You can also drag a note around to rearrange the order. Sadly, it's a weird "drop and hope" form of rearranging, I was expecting the tiles to instantly rearrange, like icons on the home screen.

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While creating a note, tapping the palette icon will bring up the color options. Note colors now take up the entire background of a note, as opposed to the tiny strip at the top on the website.

The menu button lets you change column views, and is used for navigating to archived notes, settings, feedback, and help.

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Speaking of which, here's the settings. There's nothing special here. It turns out we're already on version 1.0.77.

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Last but not least, the extras: Google Keep integrates with Voice Actions! "Note to self" used to only send an email to yourself, but now you get the option to make a Google Keep voice note instead. Keep comes packing a set of two widgets: a strip of 4 icons, or a resizable, scrolling note list - and yes, they'll work on your lock screen. There's also a share handler, so you've got a handy way to move stuff from the gallery to a note app.

That's about it for the Google Keep Android app. In closing I would like to say that this app is beautiful. The white card interface is perfect for notes, and there are awesome little animations all over the place. It's like Google Now and notepad.exe had a beautiful baby. This is a million times better than a crappy yellow notepad app, isn't it? It's also great that, finally, Android has a native note app.

If we missed anything about Google Keep, let us know.

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • sailerboy

    How about the Play Store Link?

  • sciwizam

    From someone on Twitter: "OK Glass, Keep this."

    • Paul_Werner

      It should say, OK Google, Keep this. I know they were saying it for Google glass but I'm hoping that Google doesn't scrap this like they did Reader... crying rant over now ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/JoseBond1 JoseBond

      like Cindy implied I am inspired that anyone able to make $4409 in 1 month on the network.

    • http://twitter.com/JoseBond1 JoseBond

      ....---goo.gl/nvS2n (Home more information)

  • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000779020091 Dushyant Chogle

    Is anyone else having the Sync problem with the Keep website and the app?

    • Sean Stone

      Yup, website would get an error the first time I went, then it eventually worked, and now it's screwed up again.

    • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Phoenix Bobby Phoenix

      Same happened to me. I check my sync settings for my Google account on the phone, and for "Browser" it has a sync error. I unchecked it, and now things work. Got me if that was it.

    • http://twitter.com/IamPeePay Tomáš Petrík

      Same problem here too. Just keeps working and not working, in close time intervals.

  • http://www.florianheinle.de/ Florian Heinle

    It looks really nice but it's also missing features (categories or *labels*), it's duplicating functionality from Google Tasks and it's not really integrated with anything else at the moment (allthough the announcement says it's going to come to drive). Honestly, I expected more

  • PCSievers

    This is instantly changing how I organise the minor stuff. I used to just note small stuff in Google Tasks using GTasks to get a nice widget and sync with it in Android but I am leaving that system behind and never looking back.

    The widget is simple but highly functional, Google got the sync working seamlessly and voice action integration is awesome.

    Awesome start, but it has a long way to go to knock Evernote off its pedestal if that is one of the end goals. If not it is already a great simple notepad.

    • Dinofan01

      Still needs reminders before I make that jump. A chrome extension would be nice too.

      • PCSievers

        I have to assume the Chrome extension will come shortly and while I rarely used reminders having them there would be great.

        Being able to easier group notes is awesome though. Like I have a stack of TV shows I am watching with notes on where I am in its season along with various random chores and so on so grouping like with like under a specific note "page" is a lot more elegant than my previous solution which was probably only second to ToDo.txt style organisation.

        Its not a perfect app, though what app ever launches perfect, however its really strong with a lot more pros than cons for what it seems to be trying to achieve (which isnt replacing Evernote entirely).

        • TheSaw

          How do you do this grouping? This is the only thing I miss, but I can't find how to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/stfuyuriy Yuriy Melnik

    So uhhh do i stop using Google Tasks and switch to this or what?

    • jm9843

      I'm not. Now my Google Tasks won't be littered with notes because it was convenient. It'll just be, you know, actual tasks.

      Keep is for keeping random stuff.

      • Vandré Brunazo

        Also you cannot have only your main shopping list to show on the keep widget, like you can with several gtasks apps. So I'll keep using gtasks until keep adds that.

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      Google Keep looks like a Google Tasks upgrade, so Tasks will probably get the axe soon.

  • bob

    now all i need is a dashclock extension for keep. :)

    • Magneira

      I'm waiting for that too, i'm sure by the weekend we will have one cause dashclock is getting xtremely popular!

    • Sergio

      I'd rather prefer a full lockscreen widget for this...

      • Sergio

        Ops, it's there!! :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/ShinobiPhoenix Cody Shiranai

          I know you can set it as a Lockscreen shortcut, but how did you get a lockscreen widget option?

          • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

            There are two lockscreen widgets.

  • Cosa

    Sounds neat but I am a bit hesitant to become reliant on this just to have spring cleaning kill it off in a few years.

    • Thomas’

      Bah, this crying really gets annoying.
      Of course it can get killed off - so what? Are you this unflexibel and stiff that you can't change the service? How comes that you could change from another note app/service to this one then? Or are you just looking for excuses to bitch around?

      • Cosa

        Why such hostility? If you can't add to the conversation without hurling insults, keep your negative comments to yourself. Dick.

        • Thomas’

          Because it annoys me that since the announced Reader shutdown you find a whining bunch in EACH Google post mentioning an arbitrary product, crying about an obvious fact: that every internet service will shut down eventually.

          Granted that most of the posts are way more tedious than your one, but you were the first in this thread.

          • Abhisshack D

            Fuck you and your fucking annoys

        • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

          Hahaha - the irony here is hilarious.

      • Abhisshack D

        Fuck You Asshole If you can't add to the conversation than just shut the fuck up

      • Kenny O

        I'm completely with Thomas on this. I understand the disappointment for people that a service they may have used is going away, but obviously not enough people used Reader to make it worth while to Google. Get over it and move on, find a different solution. No need to never try anything new from Google just because they took away an app you used, why punish yourself more by possibly missing out on a great product.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pratik-Holla/1041154510 Pratik Holla

      They wont destroy your data. It will probably get moved to another service which will probably be better. Remember when notebook got killed and they moved it to drive? Probably a wise move as notebook wasnt as flexible and looked fairly ugly.

      • Cosa

        Thanks, I never used notebook, but do appreciate it when a service improves and/or evolves into something better. I've been looking for a note service but haven't found something that suits my needs yet. I tried OneNote and was frustrated by the experience. I'll give this a try and hope they can also create a similar experience on Chrome browser in Windows.

    • PCSievers

      What makes you think this is any more likely to go away than Evernote going bankrupt? And even if it does Google will probably find a way to let you take your data with you.

  • Nikhil Suresh

    I've been burned once by Google Notebook. Scared to use in case it goes the same route. Sticking with Evernote.

    • Abhisshack D

      Try Springpad it has unlimited space and more features unlike evernote

    • http://profiles.google.com/holtcg Chris Holt

      All my Google Notebook stuff went into Drive. I just moved it to Springpad

  • Metallinatus

    I am testing right now and I just found out that if you create or modify a note on a browser the note/modifications instantly appears on the app just like on Google Drive.... which is great....

  • Steve Sy

    Time to replace color note..

    • primalxconvoy

      I still think colour note is useful, especially combined with the notification toggle app.

  • Matthew Fry

    Goodbye Google Tasks. I used you somewhat. reader reference

    edit: Woah. What did I do? Hahaha Does Disqus do XML tags?

  • Freak4Dell

    You actually can reorder them. It just doesn't always work well unless you are precise. Hold and drag until you see a blue line next to one of the other notes, and then drop. Your notes will reorder themselves, with the one you dragged being put either before or after the one that had the blue line.

  • Ivan92116

    needs S-Pen support...otherwise great app.

    • John O’Connor

      S-Pen on glass = epic fail. but otherwise, yes, being a Note 2 user I would appreciate some S-Pen support.

  • Jim Yee

    Now if only the updated google tasks to work with this...

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Looks wonderful, now there is a Memo application. I have been waiting for one for years take that iOS Notes app! :-)

  • Rodrigost23

    So, if you're one of the 54.9% who doesn't have ICS yet, forget about this.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Until you upgrade to ICS+, which will probably not take long.

      Google Now is available for 4.1+, at least this one allows ICS.

    • Kokusho

      Yes. Time to upgrade,

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      I guarantee that more than 80% of the people even interested in this app are 4.0+

    • David S.

      I'm already using Keep on my tablet (Android 4.2), but my phone runs Android 2.2 and isn't upgradeable (and my phone carrier will charge me an additional $10/month if I switch to a newer phone). I'll use the web version of Keep on the phone for now, but that means I won't be able to see (not merely sync) my shopping list from my phone without a live data connection. Google ought to try harder to support older Android versions with its own apps if it isn't going to do more to fight fragmentation.

  • tib

    how can I switch from evernote to google keep ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pratik-Holla/1041154510 Pratik Holla

    The biggest advantage with this i think is that fact that it integrates with your google account. Does ever-note do this? Just wondering........

  • dakuten

    All I need is LaTeX support. ANd I think it's never coming :/

    • Logan B.

      TeX would be something truly fabulous, but probably only for the desktop app. On mobile, I feel like it would end up being a mess and cause the entire service to be incredibly bloated D:

      • dakuten

        Yes, probably, although I actually write LaTex on my N7, thanks to DroidEdit and TeXPortal, and it's actually time saving.

  • Renato Moura

    There's a critical problem with sharing notes. Try sharing a note with a photo to whatsapp, for instance, and you'll share the photo alone. If you share a note with no pictures, it's gonna share a black image! Nevertheless, sharing on Gmail works just fine.

    Plus, without folders or "stacks" (as Evernote calls them), it's never going to be more than a personal random note taker. Evernote, still need you for the serious business.

    • Renato Moura

      Interface is super duper, though. <3

    • mauric

      Guess it's a whatsapp issue, they should hire some real programmers -.-

  • Joakim Melkersson

    This is nice for what it is, but it absolutely cannot replace Tasks. The lack of due dates and reminders makes Keep utterly useless as an actual task manager. But again, nice for what it is (a note-taking app), and I'll most likely use both from now on.

  • grebulon

    Will this end like google reader?

    • Abhisshack D

      Yes

    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      No this will be the only piece of software in history that never ever reaches the end of it's life.

  • Ruperto17

    Looks promising. It's going to take a whole lot more than that to get me to switch from Evernote. Not that I would want to, I have a couple years worth of notes

  • Kokusho

    it lack options, especially a locking one.

  • Brian Walker

    I would love it if they had better sharing support with this. It would be great to make a grocery list, share it to my wife, and then have us both update it at the same time while we're out getting stuff.

    • RPiatt

      Using Astrid for this very thing... But curious to see how this progresses...

  • Bobby Rouse

    I want a better way to add dates than just putting them in the note section. Also it would be nice if you could select to automatically enter these into your Google Calendar. I like reading from Google Calendar but I don't like adding tasks to it.

  • Abhisshack D

    Springpad is much better IMHO

  • http://profiles.google.com/pastorvor Brian Covey

    I like it so far... :D
    Could use...
    Drag and Drop for images on the website
    Integration with gTasks
    Integration will ALL other Google properties like calendar and gPlus
    I hope this grows.

  • heat361

    What I find interesting is this has the same sort of holo design like Google now, which makes me thing that all google's apps at I/O will be updated with this sort of look.

  • mauric

    Android is finally getting the core apps it need. First the new Clock and now the Notes, let's see what's next!

  • Brian Knapp

    I'm sticking with Catch which makes better use of color coding by using the colors like tags/folders.

  • dobbsy

    Can't believe no one's mentioned Catch Notes yet.

    Though Keep seems interesting, I'll stick with Catch.

    And is it just me, or are pretty much all the colors except white painful to look at?

    • Robert Blenkinsopp

      I'd agree with you, they need toning down / washing out a little in my opinion. I also miss the shared list functionality from Catch Notes. However given that this appears to be a component of Google Drive, hopefully shared notes / lists will appear later using the normal Drive sharing system.

      • Magneira

        Yeah catch is more complete, but to save notes not for quick notes, i think i will be using both, catch for saving things i might or might not use and this for quick notes i will be using shortly

    • TheSaw

      I'm currently using Catch, but it has limitations (limited spaces, not so good sync, no subfolders). However, I like Catch more than the competitors right now, and I'm really hoping Google can make Keep better, so I can switch.

  • John O’Connor

    Thanks Ron! What took so long /S

  • Matt

    Is the selection after using voice search new? Can you do that with evernote? I mean, does this mean there's an API (or Intent) that you can register to hook into voice search? What's the extent of that functionality? That seems like a pretty big deal to me.

  • immortalneo

    lovely ui and superb app! much awaited!

  • br_hermon

    Given what I've read, it doesn't look like it but... Does this integrate with Google Drive? Like the notes and pictures are stored and organized in Drive? I hope / wish. Right now I use drive to make notes, create lists and share them with my wife. This service looks nice but it sure makes sense for this to be a feature of Drive rather than something entirely separate.

  • Mike

    Its about time. I can't believe it took Google until 2013 to release a native Android note taking app. I'm just happy to finally have this though. Only request I have is to add the ability to set a pass code for certain notes or just the entire note app in general. Other than that, I love it.

  • aashish kumar

    one very good app Any Do Task list (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anydo)
    This one syncs with google tasks. Not exactly note making app but still its very good for tasks

  • Brandon Hoffman

    If you long press on one of your notes and let go long press again you can slide it away

  • s427

    It probably should be mentioned that Keep seems to have a limit on the length of the notes you can store (at about 10'000 characters from what i see). My first test was to import (via copy/paste) a long note I had on SpringPad, and I was a bit disappointed when Keep informed me that the note was too long and was therefore being truncated.

  • https://plus.google.com/111019692970182387850 Carlos Sarthou

    Loving Keep so far but I can't shake the feeling that this is inching me even further into app oversaturation. I've already formed a pretty good flow with NoNonsense Notes, Notif, Notable, and Draft so I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to make this fit into my current routine. So far the only use for this I can come up with is capturing and annotating photos I might need for a project, which makes me feel like I'd be wasting a service with great potential. :/

  • crankerchick

    Looks beautiful. Galaxy Nexus is deader than dead right now so can't play or test myself. Does the app have a way to save notes for offline access? Can it be done through the Drive app?Would suck to need to get to a note or create a new one while without an internet connection (for those of us who work in the bowels and have no cell signal or wi-fi at times).

  • crankerchick

    Google would be foolish to spring clean on something like this down the road. And worrying about something like that and not using an app right in front of you now is just stupid and indicative of Drama Queen behavior.

    Android has always had a fundamental flaw in that it has no simple "Note" app and no "Tasks" app. Every OS should have these apps, even if basic and replaced by third-party apps for those wanting more. I'm happy to see Google Keep, will use it for basic quick notes, and look forward to a simple "Task" app to come in the future.

  • paleh0rse

    Any chance for S-pen support and handwritten notes?

  • BroadcastJunkie

    I hope this gets OCR support. Thats all I really want. Something to search after I take a picture without having to write down whats in the picture. thats what makes evernote good, but i would much rather it be in google keep

  • Vicky Cantu

    These lists need gtasks integration... it would make so much more sense if all my lists were just synced already, with their dates and sub-sorting and what not.

  • Jerry01

    Moving notes around in the Keep android app id fine, but how can you do this on the web-based version?

  • Mike Masterson

    Thanks for the great Google Keep summary. I use it daily. I dictate notes to keep like grocery lists etc. I cannot figure out how to move the cursor to the next list item without using my finger to tap the cursor down one line. It is cumbersome enough that I sometimes just type the list with a keyboard as opposed to speaking. Is there a voice command that I can use in Keep to move to the next list item without using my finger to tap the next list item?
    Thanks for your help

  • Elson

    one trouble of using this is when you by mistake delete the data, you can't recover it. if using gmail on android, i can choose not saving the draft and reopen it to restore the old data. in Google Keep, no chance, and that's very bad.

  • adsfa

    how do i undo a change on keep

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