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March 21, 2013

Google Debuts Note-Taking Service Keep

Notes Stored in Google Drive and Synced to User’s Devices

Less than a week after Google Keep appeared briefly on Google Drive before being yanked from the site, the search engine giant has officially launched its free note-taking service.

Keep is available on the Web through Google Drive and via an app for Android devices running on 4.0.3 or later.

Keep will work hand-in-hand with Google Drive to allow its users to take notes as well as peruse the notes and other saved items.

“With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you,” says software engineer Katherine Kuan in a blog post. “Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand.”

Google image

Google image

Keep’s functions include:

• For those who dislike typing, Keep also transcribes voice memos automatically by tapping on the microphone. Both the audio and text are saved in the note;

• Add a photo to any note by tapping on the camera;

• Hide and show checkboxes to turn notes into checkable lists;

• View and create notes from homescreen and lockscreen widgets (lockscreen widgets require Android 4.2+);

• Customize color or color-code notes;

• Sync notes to Google Drive and other devices.

“There’s super-fast search to find what you’re looking for and when you’re finished with a note you can archive or delete it,” Kuan adds. “Changing priorities isn’t a problem: just open Keep on your Android phone or tablet (there’s a widget so you can have Keep front and center all the time) and drag your notes around to reflect what matters.”

Google image

Google image

Keep surfaced on Google Drive the evening of March 17 before being quickly pulled from the site. Android Police spotted the plug in the wild and quickly grabbed some screenshots before Keep disappeared.

It was not the first time Google users have caught a glimpse of Keep, however. It was mistakenly included in a screenshot in an official Google+ post last July. The screenshot was labeled ‘save to Google Keep.’

Such “leaks” are not unusual for Google products. Google Drive also was “leaked” before it was officially launched last year. It is thought such early glimpses of upcoming products or services are actually bids by the technology titan to whet consumers’ appetites for upcoming tools.

Google Keep is available on Google Play for devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and above. To use the note-taking service on the Web, go to Within a few weeks users will be able to access Keep directly from Google Drive.

Google Keep will be competing against established note-taking apps such as Evernote, Pocket and Oneenote.