Google’s note-taking app, Google Keep, originally launched at the end of March for Android and on the web (as part of Google Drive). Now Google has launched as a Chrome extension. All versions of Google Keep are automatically synched for the user logged in with Google, so notes can be accessed from (almost) anywhere. There is still no Keep app available for the iPhone, but that may come down the line.
Here are a few facts about Google Keep:
* Google Keep for Chrome can be used offline. Just open Chrome, open a new tab, and choose Keep. The new extension opens in a new window in the Chrome browser.
* Keep for Chrome is a bare-bones app. Users can’t add audio or video, or even text formatting.
* Keep allows users to add photos to notes. The photos are added to the header of the note, but users cannot intersperse the photos within the note.
* Keep for Chrome does not allow users to share notes with others. Keep for Android will allow users to share a note, but only as an email or post. It can’t be shared as a collaborative Google Keep note the way Google Documents in Drive can be shared.
* Google Keep can be used within Google Drive, but the Google Drive version does not enable sharing the way a Google Document does. The only way to share a Keep note from either Keep for Chrome or Keep for Drive is to copy and paste them.
* Google Keep has an option to add a checklist. Checklist notes can be color-coded, but cannot have photos.
* Keep for Chrome notes cannot be organized by category or order. The date cannot be updated, the order of the notes cannot be changed, and there are no category options.
* Keep notes can be color-coded. Each note can have one of seven colors, plus white. This allows notes to be organized by color, but it’s not possible to show notes of only one color at a time.
* There is a search feature available for Google Keep, which allows users to search for notes by the text in the title or body of the note.
* Keep for Android has many more features than Keep for Chrome or Drive. Users can add notes as reminders, order notes, create audio notes that can be transcribed to text, share their notes by email or social media, and snap photos then use Android’s photo editing tools before adding the photo to a Keep note.
* According to Wired, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean has a built-in Keep widget that can be placed on the Android home screen or lock screen. This allows users to add reminders without unlocking the device.
* All versions of Google Keep are very fast. With a very simple and easy to use design, notes can be added very quickly the moment an idea pops into a user’s head.
When the original Google Keep was launched, Evernote began to see more downloads than usual. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, said that the additional downloads were due to having more attention in the category of note-taking apps than before.
Google Keep can be accessed from iOS using Safari, but it’s difficult to use. The app becomes “jumpy,” and it’s difficult to place the cursor to make edits.