Google's been on a rampage updating apps to fit its new "Google Material Theme" or "Material Design 2" or whatever you prefer to call it — I've been known to say "Monochrome Menace," myself. Keep Notes (née Google Keep) is the latest app to get the new look, and it's pretty snazzy. Better, if you're too impatient to wait for the update to land, you can download it early over at our sister site, APK Mirror.


Keep v5.0.391 (left), and Keep v5.0.411 (right). Ignore those poll ideas.

The new look is much more attractive and modern, but so far as we can tell, it loses no functionality. Only the blue thumbtack icon in the corner of pinned items appears to have been lost, though the "pinned" category header is still present, and it's probably as much of an indicator as you need.

Note titles are now in Google/Product Sans, and gone is the old serifed Roboto Slab font for note content, replaced by a sans-serif Roboto. The gray background has been replaced with an eye-searing white, and notes are now denoted merely by a border, rather than a contrasting background.

Iconography has also been updated to Pie-era outlines everywhere, and a new avatar shortcut at the top right to switch between Google accounts has been added to the default screen. That split-square icon toggles state between multiple and single-column views, the same as before — though, we must confess, most of us here at AP never actually noticed it before the redesign.


Navigation drawer in Keep v5.0.391 (left) and Keep v5.0.411 (right).

The navigation drawer is seeing more drastic changes. While other don't-call-it-Material-Design-2 redesigns like the one for Google Photos have preserved much of the look from the old-style drawer, Keep has dropped the header entirely, losing your name, email, avatar, and G+ background. Perhaps other apps will follow suit.

Note composition screen on Keep v5.0.391 (left) and Keep v5.0.411 (right)

Note composition itself only has a handful of skin-deep changes in aesthetic, with a solid white background and the same tweaks to iconography and font. The placement, general appearance, and functionality of each UI element remain the same, though. The settings and reminder menus in the app haven't appreciably changed.


Brightly colored note backgrounds are still around, don't worry.

The update which introduces the new look to Keep doesn't include much of a bump in version, either, counting in at a mere v5.0.411 compared to the current v5.0.391. While the update is rolling out, you can get an early look at Keep Notes for yourself by pulling down the latest version at APK Mirror. (The Wear OS version is available here.)