Google Keep was one of the first apps to add support for the Android Wear platform, giving users a quick, simple, and mostly effortless way to record short notes without reaching for a smartphone. Since then, the main application has seen several updates, but the Wear-specific companion app has gone mostly unchanged. With the latest update, the tables have been turned, and it's time for the Wear app to go through a moderately sizeable refresh.
Ever wanted to take handwritten notes, but didn't want to write on a digital screen? Maybe you just don't want a Samsung device, the primary Android manufacturer to offer active digitizers (better known as the "S Pen" in their marketing materials). Livescribe's smartpens have, up to now, been just a nearly perfect solution for many. You can write on real paper* and have your notes rather effortlessly synced to select digital destinations.
Cross one more item off your list of Google apps in need of material facelifts! Next on this bountiful Update Wednesday, Google Keep is receiving a bump to version 3.0 with some new material-inspired touches, the most obvious one being its launcher icon. Instead of a realistic stack of sticky notes, we now have a single dog-eared sheet of paper with a lightbulb cutout sitting on top.
Once you're inside the app, there's plenty to look at.
You might be familiar with the MyScript Calculator, which lets you jot down math problems and solves them on the spot. It's creepy accurate, and now that same technology has been applied to note taking with MyScript Smart Note (for tablets only). It works best if you've got a stylus, but even a finger is accurate enough for this app to figure it out.
The Box cloud storage app has received a significant shot of new features today, the most notable being mobile support for Box Notes. Now users don't need to head over to a computer and fire up a web browser to create, view, or edit those portable documents. The editor can handle basic formatting, bullet lists, and the essentials. You also now have the power to make checklists both on the web or within the app.
It's a sad day for the 400,000+ active users of note taking service Springpad. After six years of battling the Evernote behemoth, Springpad is calling it quits on June 25th. The website, apps, and sync features will go offline at that time, but the team is working to help you get your data out.
There are more than a few note-taking apps on the Play Store, including established veteran Evernote and Google's own Keep. But Automattic, the company formed by WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, thinks you'll be interested in at least one more. After a considerable period of iOS exclusivity, Simplenote is now available on the Google Play Store. It's free to download and use.
Simplenote hits all the check marks for a new notation app: syncing across devices and the service website, a to do list as well as more general notes, searching through previous notes, and tags for a better filing system.
With the sheer number of to-do list applications available for Android, there should be a stroke available for all the different folks out there. Todoist is one of the premium choices on the market, a subscription-based web platform that supports syncing tasks and projects across any number of devices. A major update to the Android app is rolling out today, offering a revisited interface that still manages to marry Todoist's web interface with Holo quite well.
There are few things on Android more useful than good floating apps. Because, honestly, how often have you been looking at something and needed to jot down a quick note but didn't want to leave the foreground app? Or how about those times when a calculator is clutch, but so is seeing the numbers you need to calculate? We've seen various apps that answer these quandaries before, but now there's a place to get a handful of mini-apps all in one place.
The Google Keep Android app is out, and it is way more functional than the sparse web site. Allow me to show you around.
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.
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.