Google Keep Launches – Google’s Evernote and OneNote Answer

I was just starting to listen to This Week in Google live after work, when right before the show they shouted Google just launched Google Keep!  I’ve already got it installed on my phones and my tablet.  What IS Google Keep?  It’s very similar to services  like Evernote or OneNote.  It’s designed to take notes, make checklists, and more.  It hangs off of your Google Drive, and it uses the new real-time API that Google also announced this week.


Google Keep doesn’t appear to support tagging like Evernote does, and while you can import pictures into your Google Keep, it does not appear to look at and index the text in the image itself like Evernote does, but you can import audio notes.


The only thing that really concerns me about Google Keep is what happens after they iterate it and add features over time and then kill it like they have done with Google Reader.  Since it’s Google, I think that if they do that, they will probably allow us to download our Keep notes and then import them elsewhere as they have with Google Reader, so I feel okay about putting things in Keep.


The TWIT army is currently causing Google Keep some issues with slow syncing happening currently, but I look for that to smooth out once the rush is over.


I’ll be doing a full review after I spend some time with it, as it looks like Google Keep has a lot more features than what is apparent on the surface. Keep an eye out for my review soon.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

9 Comments on "Google Keep Launches – Google’s Evernote and OneNote Answer"

  1. I’m not sure yet where they are going with this when there are already good, established solutions in this arena. Worse – Googles site makes statements like “wherever you are”and available on all your devices”. Sad thing is that it isn’t exactly true and is actually a bit misleading. There is no iOS or Windows Phone client or, in fact, ANY client other than for Android. For anyone else, it’s web only. Sorry, but that isn’t exactly the same thing as “available on all your devices”. The web address isn’t really all that obvious either (it’s really a sub-function of the Google Drive service), unlike other google services.

    Competing solutions are available on a much wider range of devices and are already well-established. Unless you are heavily vested in the Google ecosystem (i.e. Google docs, etc.) I don’t see this being anything other than an also-ran.

  2. I agree with Chris; to me there isn’t any compelling reason to here to give Google any more of my information. I’ll stick with Evernote. =P

  3. I wouldn’t call it an ‘answer’ to those superior services, it is like Google Docs – a good enough and FREE service that allows Google to get info to harvest to constantly bombard you with ads. The goal for Google is to have everything in your life ‘for sale’ … which is why their metrics have gone from getting you off search quickly to keeping you on a Google property as long as possible, and also why they are booting AdBlock and apps out of the store …

  4. That is another thing – it also runs on only ~40% of Android devices (requires ICS or later). I would definitely stick with the cross-platform, non-Google option.

  5. That’s a good point – it doesn’t even run on all Android devices. So I maintain that unless you are heavily invested in the Google ecosystem, I’d bypass this altogether.

  6. There is that….there’s also where I can see this going. For now, it seems, it’s VERY barebones. Personally? I’d have rather they updated Google Reader and tossed this out to the curb. Off to write my in depth review….ALREADY as there’s really not much to it.

  7. Doug Miller | March 21, 2013 at 9:16 am |

    Good article, but I do think that all of the analysis saying “when Google closes this like they did Reader” stuff is overdone at this point. Reader doesn’t really match well with any of Google’s core businesses; in particular, it turned into a syncing solution for other third party apps, providing no way for Google to show ads. I think that this app does match up well with Google’s core business, so it should last so long as Android does.

    I already have an answer for this in Evernote. However, there are loads of non-geeks who have no idea what Evernote is, and when they buy Android phones, they will have a good note-taking solution. I think it’s better to have an app with cloud-based storage and syncing at this point, rather than a standalone Android app that stores data only on the phone.

  8. I would have agreed with you on this, except that Google DID find a way to monetize their feeds; they purchased Feedburner and then ‘allowed’ content providers the option of monetizing their feeds with Google ads.

  9. Agree with Judie – AND, more importantly the sites that you link to are almost guaranteed to be pushing Google ads. So for someone like me that has a hundreds of feeds that I scan and sites I visit daily, Google is getting money from that exposure …

    So when it comes down to it, Reader is MUCH more aligned with what USED to be Google’s core business: search. The ORIGINAL goal of Google was to get you off their site quickly, and use ads to fund the perfection of that goal … Reader does exactly that.

    However, Google is no longer interested in Search or *serving* their customers – it is about advertising and *monetizing* customers. That is incredibly apparent in everything they do. Keep is about expanding the information that they collect and sell about you. Grocery list? Sold. Images? Not your property anymore. And so on.

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