Something I really like about Google is their approach to making fairly minimalist looking apps and services. They don’t usually plaster all kinds of graphics and craziness all over the apps. They make them to solve a problem and leave all of the customizing to the third-party developers.
Google Keep is a new Android note-taking app Google developed to compete against the popular Evernote and many other note apps in the Play Store. Keep goes with the same simplistic design as the other Google applications. You get what you need and nothing more. Also in typical Google fashion, they released the app lacking some features (though there is no “beta” tag this time) to really let it compete with some of the major players.
The first and foremost thing you want in a note taking app is a super easy way to create and retrieve a note. Google Keep does this well. Starting out, there are 3 different methods to quickly access the notes – the app icon and two different widgets.
The first time you access Keep, you will need to let it know which Google Account you want to associate it with.
To make your first note, you can tap the first icon on the left of the menu bar. This will open up a simple note taking screen. Simply tap the screen and you can type a note with the keyboard like normal. Other than the normal note, you can also create a list note, audio note and a image note (using the camera).
At the top right of an open note, there are a couple of icons. The first is a color palette. This allows you to change the color of the note. This is more of an organization tool than anything. Having different color notes will make it easier to distinguish what they are about. Or if you just like red better than yellow, you can change the color too.
The next icon is the camera. Pressing this will let you add a picture to the note.
Then you have the settings icon. Right now there isn’t a lot in the way of settings for this Android note-taking app compared to others in the Google Play Store. All you can do is switch accounts and turn the sync feature on and off. You can see the Google Drive address below because Keep is sort of an offshoot of your Google Drive account. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
There are different types of notes. You can make a note, list, add audio or add an image to the note as mentioned earlier. You do not need to go through the widget to create the different style notes.
Sharing is somewhat limited though. Other note apps allow you to easily share notes with other users, but Keep does not. It is shared like other information on your Android. Click the Share symbol and it pulls up the app options.
Earlier I talked about Keep being an offshoot of Google Drive. To create or access notes, the web address you will go to is drive.google.com/keep. The interface is very simple here as well. You have 2 views, list or grid and the same basic controls as the Android app.
Right now, Google Keep is a pretty basic Android note-taking app. Depending on what your needs are in a note app, you might need to stick with your Evernote or other feature rich app for now. If you are looking for something to sync with your heavily used Google Account, this might just be what you’ve been waiting for.