When Android was first launched in 2007, it was criticized for not coming with a lot of apps. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, the HTC G1 didn’t come with a full set of vendor-supplied (“stock”) applications. One of the more important omissions was a good note-taking app. Since then, Google has released lots of apps, and most of them have been excellent. Google Keep is a fairly recent addition, and a new version came out this week. It’s a fast, lightweight note-taking app with an excellent featureset.
I’ve been using Any.DO for to-do lists, and Evernote for notes. The latest version of Keep – for me – replaces both. It doesn’t do everything Any.DO does, and it’s really basic compared to Evernote, but it does offer the features I actually used in both. Here’s what I like most.
Notes can be text, photos or lists
Unlike Any.DO with its one, central list, any Keep note can be a list. But the way I use apps like this, every note is basically something I need to follow-up. It works really well for me. And a pictures says more than a thousand words, so I like using the snapshot function.
There’s a good web interface
Taking quick notes on my phone works well, but I like being able to write and edit longer or more complicated items on my desktop. I found Evernote’s Windows app to be slow and complicated, so I much prefer Google lean and mean web editor.
Share via Gmail, Hangouts, etc…
Android’s sharing system is one of its main strengths, and it really shines with Keep. Not all notes are strictly personal, and Keep allows you to share them through Dropbox, Hangouts and tons of other apps.
I frequently set reminders on my phone for a specific moment, because I know I’ll be at a certain location at that time. With Keep, you can set reminders based on location. Things like “Check if [friend] still has my DVD”, set for the friend’s house. Or “Buy a [something low priority]” with the store’s location. It’s very clever.
I’m not entirely sure of this, but it seems that Keep comes standard on new Android 4.3 phones from now on. This means the Android finally has a note-taking app. And it’s the best I’ve seen. Most of it features aren’t new, but it’s the prefect balance between simplicity and bloat that makes Keep as keeper.