Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available on the web, and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. Keep offers a variety of tools for taking notes, including text, lists, images, and audio. Users can set reminders, which are integrated with Google Now. Text from images can be extracted using optical character recognition, and voice recordings can be transcribed. The interface allows for a single-column view or a multi-column view. Notes can be color-coded, and labels can be applied for organization. Later updates have added functionality to pin notes, and to collaborate on notes with other Keep users in real-time.

Google Keep has received mixed reviews. A review just after launch in 2013 praised its speed, the quality of voice notes, synchronization, and the widget that could be placed on the Android home screen. Reviews in 2016 have criticized the lack of formatting options, inability to undo changes, and an interface that only offers two view modes where neither was liked for their handling of long notes. However, Google Keep received praise for features including universal device access, native integration with other Google services, and the option to turn photos into text through optical character recognition.[3]

Google Keep
Google Keep icon
Android version of Google Keep
Android version of Google Keep
Initial releaseMarch 20, 2013
Stable release(s) [±]
Android5. / March 18, 2019[1]
iOS2.2018.32102 / August 20, 2018[2]
Operating systemAndroid, iOS, web
TypeNote-taking service


Google Keep allows users to make different kinds of notes, including text, lists, images, and audio.[4] Users can set reminders, which are integrated with Google Now, with options for time or location.[5] Text from images can be extracted using optical character recognition technology.[6][7] Voice recordings created through Keep are automatically transcribed.[8] Keep can convert text notes into checklists.[9] Users can choose between a single-column view and a multi-column view.[4] Notes can be color-coded, with options for white, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue or grey.[7][9] Users can press a "Copy to Google Doc" button that automatically copies all text into a new Google Docs document.[5] Users can create notes and lists by voice.[5][9] Notes can be categorized using labels, with a list of labels in the app's navigation bar.[9]


In November 2014, Google introduced a real-time note cooperation feature between different Keep users, as well as a search feature determined by attributes, such as color, sharing status, or the kind of content in the note.[10] In October 2016, Google added the ability for users to pin notes.[11] In February 2017, Google integrated Google Keep with Google Docs, providing access to notes while using Docs on the web.[12][13] Google Assistant could previously maintain a shopping list within Google Keep. This feature was moved to Google Express in April 2017, resulting in a severe loss of functionality.[14] In July 2017, Google updated Keep on Android with the ability for users to undo and redo changes.[15][16]


Google Keep was launched on March 20, 2013 for the Android operating system and on the web.[17][18] The Android app is compatible with Android Wear.[19][20] Users can create new notes using voice input, add and tick off items in lists, and view reminders.[21]

An app for the iOS operating system was released on September 24, 2015.[22]



In a May 2013 review, Alan Henry of Lifehacker wrote that the interface was "colorful and easy to use", and that the colors actually served a purpose in organization and contrast. Henry praised the speed, quality of voice notes, synchronization, and Android home screen widget. He criticized the web interface, as well as the lack of an iOS app.[8]

Time listed Google Keep among its 50 best Android applications for 2013.[23]


In a January 2016 review, JR Raphael of Computerworld wrote that "Keep is incredibly close to being an ideal tool for me to collect and manage all of my personal and work-related notes. And, as evidenced by the fact that I continue to use it, its positives outweigh its negatives for me and make it the best all-around option for my needs", praising what he calls Keep's "killer features", namely simplicity, "easy universal access", and native integration with other Google services. However, he characterized Keep's lack of formatting options, the inability to undo or revert changes, and a missing search functionality within notes as "lingering weaknesses".[24]

In a July 2016 review, Jill Duffy of PC Magazine wrote that the interface was best described as "simplicity", and criticized it for offering list and grid views that did not make finding information quick or easy. Adding that "Most of my notes are text-based recipes, which are quite long", Duffy said the list view was "even worse" than the grid view as it only showed "one note at a time, and it's the most recently edited note." She wrote that the web interface was lacking in functionality present in the apps. The mobile apps offering to take a photo and run optical character recognition to have the scan turned into text was described as a "shining star", with the comment "It's an amazing feature, and it works very well". She also criticized the lack of formatting options, and that sharing options "is possible but not very refined".[25]

See also


  1. ^ "Google Keep". APKMirror. Android Police. March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Google Keep". App Store. Apple Inc. March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Zhang, Gary. "Google Keep Desktop – Best Portable APP for Windows / Mac". Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Amadeo, Ron (March 20, 2013). "Hands-On With Google Keep For Android: Notes, Checklists, Voice Notes, Pictures, Widgets, And Voice Actions Integration". Android Police. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Whitwam, Ryan (April 25, 2016). "5 awesome Google Keep features you aren't using, but should be". Greenbot. International Data Group. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Wallen, Jack (March 20, 2016). "How to take advantage of optical character recognition in Google Keep". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Patkar, Mihir (January 29, 2015). "4 Google Keep Tips And Tricks For Better Notes, Lists And To-Dos". MakeUseOf. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Henry, Alan (May 22, 2013). "Not Just Another Notes App: Why You Should Use Google Keep". Lifehacker. Univision Communications. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Raphael, JR (May 11, 2016). "11 ways to get the most out of Google Keep on Android". Computerworld. International Data Group. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  10. ^ Protalinski, Emil (November 17, 2014). "Google Keep now lets you share lists with friends and family, filter notes by attributes". VentureBeat. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Whitwam, Ryan (October 19, 2016). "[Update: App shortcuts too] New Google Keep update adds note pinning [APK Download]". Android Police. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Anima, Mario (February 28, 2017). "Capture ideas in Google Keep, bring them to life in Google Docs". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  13. ^ Perez, Sarah (February 28, 2017). "Google's note-taking app Keep joins G Suite, now integrates with Google Docs". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  14. ^ Amadeo, Ron (April 11, 2017). "Google ruins the Assistant's shopping list, turns it into a big Google Express ad". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  15. ^ El Khoury, Rita (July 14, 2017). "Google Keep 3.4.803 gets undo and redo controls [APK Download]". Android Police. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Li, Abner (July 13, 2017). "Google Keep for Android finally adds undo/redo controls for text editing". 9to5Google. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  17. ^ Kuan, Katherine (March 20, 2013). "Google Keep—Save what's on your mind". Official Google Blog. Google. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Graziano, Dan (March 20, 2013). "Google launches Google Keep note-taking service [video]". BGR. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  19. ^ Zhou, Ranna (April 23, 2015). "Google Keep: Take notes on the go". Official Android Blog. Google. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Tarantola, Andrew (April 23, 2015). "Take notes on your wrist with Google Keep and Android Wear". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  21. ^ Lopez, Napier (April 23, 2015). "Google Keep on Android Wear now lets you dictate notes on the go". The Next Web. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  22. ^ Welch, Chris (September 24, 2015). "Google Keep is now available for iPhone and iPad". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  23. ^ Newman, Jared (June 30, 2013). "50 Best Android Apps for 2013". Time. Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Raphael, JR (January 26, 2016). "3 years with Google Keep: Where it shines and where it (still) falls short". Computerworld. International Data Group. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  25. ^ Duffy, Jill (July 30, 2016). "Google Keep". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 1, 2017.

External links

Comparison of notetaking software

The tables below compare features of notable note-taking software.

G Suite

G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Your Domain) is a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google, first launched on August 28, 2006 as "Google Apps for Your Domain". G Suite comprises Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google+ for communication; Drive for storage; Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites for collaboration; and, depending on the plan, an Admin panel and Vault for managing users and the services. It also includes the digital interactive whiteboard Jamboard and the app development platform App Maker.

While these services are free to use for consumers, G Suite adds enterprise features such as custom email addresses at a domain (, option for unlimited cloud storage (depending on plan and number of members), additional administrative tools and advanced settings, as well as 24/7 phone and email support.Being based in Google's data centers, data and information is saved instantly and then synchronized to other data centers for backup purposes. Unlike the free, consumer-facing services, G Suite users do not see advertisements while using the services, and information and data in G Suite accounts do not get used for advertisement purposes. Furthermore, G Suite administrators can fine-tune security and privacy settings.

As of January 2017, G Suite has 4 million paying businesses, and 70 million G Suite for Education users.


Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.

The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Project Fi, and Google Station) is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil" until the phrase was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices. Unlike the company's previous virtual assistant, Google Now, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.

Assistant initially debuted in May 2016 as part of Google's messaging app Allo, and its voice-activated speaker Google Home. After a period of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it began to be deployed on other Android devices in February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear (now Wear OS), and was released as a standalone app on the iOS operating system in May 2017. Alongside the announcement of a software development kit in April 2017, the Assistant has been, and is being, further extended to support a large variety of devices, including cars and third party smart home appliances. The functionality of the Assistant can also be enhanced by third-party developers.

In 2017, Google Assistant was installed on more than 400 million devices.Users primarily interact with Google Assistant through natural voice, though keyboard input is also supported. In the same nature and manner as Google Now, the Assistant is able to search the Internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to identify objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs.

At CES 2018, the first Assistant-powered smart displays (smart speakers with video screens) were announced, with the first one being released in July 2018.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a time-management and scheduling calendar service developed by Google. It became available in beta release April 13, 2006, and in general release in July 2009, on the web and as mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms.

Google Calendar allows users to create and edit events. Reminders can be enabled for events, with options available for type and time. Event locations can also be added, and other users can be invited to events. Users can enable or disable the visibility of special calendars, including Birthdays, where the app retrieves dates of births from Google contacts and displays birthday cards on a yearly basis, and Holidays, a country-specific calendar that displays dates of special occasions. Over time, Google has added functionality that makes use of machine learning, including "Events from Gmail", where event information from a user's Gmail messages are automatically added to Google Calendar; "Reminders", where users add to-do activities that can be automatically updated with new information; "Smart Suggestions", where the app recommends titles, contacts, and locations when creating events; and "Goals", where users enter information on a specified personal goal, and the app automatically schedules the activity at optimal times.

Google Calendar's mobile apps have received polarized reviews. 2015 reviews of the Android and iOS apps both praised and criticized the design. While some critics praised the design for being "cleaner", "bold" and making use of "colorful graphics", other reviewers asserted that the graphics took up too much space. The Smart Suggestions feature was also liked and disliked, with varying levels of success in the app actually managing to suggest relevant information upon event creation. The integration between Google Calendar and Gmail was praised, however, with critics writing that "all of the relevant details are there".

Google Chrome App

A Google Chrome App is a web application that runs on the Google Chrome web browser. Chrome apps can be obtained from the Chrome Web Store where apps, extensions, and themes can be installed or bought. There are two types of apps, hosted and packaged, which have different locations of their executable and are targeted at different use cases.On August 19, 2016, Google announced that it would begin phasing out Chrome Apps for Windows, Mac and Linux (both packaged and hosted) by the end of 2016, finishing the process in early 2018. The company said that such apps will, however, continue to be supported and maintained on Chrome OS "for the foreseeable future".

Google Home

Google Home is a brand of smart speakers developed by Google. The first device was announced in May 2016 and released in the United States in November 2016, with subsequent releases globally throughout 2017 and 2018.

Google Home speakers enable users to speak voice commands to interact with services through Google's personal assistant software called Google Assistant. A large number of services, both in-house and third-party, are integrated, allowing users to listen to music, control playback of videos or photos, or receive news updates entirely by voice. Google Home devices also have integrated support for home automation, letting users control smart home appliances with their voice. Multiple Google Home devices can be placed in different rooms in a home for synchronized playback of music. An update in April 2017 brought multi-user support, allowing the device to distinguish between up to six people by voice. In May 2017, Google announced multiple updates to Google Home's functionality, including: free hands-free phone calling in the United States and Canada; proactive updates ahead of scheduled events; visual responses on mobile devices or Chromecast-enabled televisions; Bluetooth audio streaming; and the ability to add reminders and calendar appointments.

The original Google Home has a cylindrical shape with colored status LEDs on the top for visual representation of its status. The cover over its base is modular, with different color options available through the Google Store for matching with home decor. In October 2017, Google announced two additions to the product lineup, the miniature puck-shaped Google Home Mini and the larger Google Home Max. In October 2018, the company released the Google Home Hub, a smart speaker with a touchscreen video display.

Google Notebook

Google Notebook was a free online application offered by Google that allowed users to save and organize clips of information while conducting research online. The browser-based tool permitted a user to write notes, clip text and images, and save links from pages during a browser session. The information was saved to an online "notebook" with sharing and collaboration features. Notebooks could be made "public", or visible to others, and also could be used to collaborate with a list of users (either publicly or privately).

Google Takeout

Google Takeout (Google Takeaway in some languages, on the site itself called "Download your data") is a project by the Google Data Liberation Front that allows users of Google products, such as YouTube and Gmail, to export their data to a downloadable archive file.

List of Google apps for Android

The list of Google apps for Android lists the mobile apps developed by Google for its Android operating system. All of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

List of Google products

The following is a list of products and services provided by Google.

List of personal information managers

The following is a list of personal information managers (PIMs) and online organizers.

Material Design

Material Design (codenamed Quantum Paper) is a design language that Google developed in 2014. Expanding on the "card" motifs that debuted in Google Now, Material Design uses more grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows.

Google announced Material Design on June 25, 2014, at the 2014 Google I/O conference.

Notes (Apple)

Notes is a notetaking app developed by Apple. It is provided on their iOS and macOS operating systems, the latter starting with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. It functions as a service for making short text notes, which can be synchronised between devices using Apple's iCloud service.

The application uses a similar interface on iOS and macOS, with a textured paper background for notes and light yellow icons, suggesting pencil or crayon. Until 2013, both applications used a strongly skeuomorphic interface, with a lined paper design; the Mountain Lion version placed this inside a leather folder. This design was replaced in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.


Panoramio is a discontinued geo-located tagging, photo sharing mashup which was bought by Google in 2007. Accepted geo-located tagged photos uploaded to the site could be accessed as a layer in Google Earth and Google Maps, with new photos being added at the end of every month. The site's goal was to allow Google Earth users to learn more about a given area by viewing the photos that other users had taken at that location. The website was available in several languages. In 2009 the website was among 1000 most popular websites worldwide.The headquarters of Panoramio were originally located in Zurich in the office building of Google Switzerland, but subsequently were moved to Mountain View, California, USA.

Panoramio commenced in 2005, and officially closed on November 4, 2016. The layer in Google Earth was, however, available until January 2018. Still available, though, are the image source URL's.

Post-it Note

A Post-it Note (or sticky note) is a small piece of paper with a re-adherable strip of glue on its back, made for temporarily attaching notes to documents and other surfaces. A low-tack pressure-sensitive adhesive allows the notes to be easily attached, removed and even re-posted elsewhere without leaving residue. Originally small yellow squares, Post-it Notes and related products are available in various colors, shapes, sizes and adhesive strengths.

Although 3M's patent expired in 1997, "Post-it" and the original notes' distinctive yellow color remain registered company trademarks, with terms such as "repositionable notes" used for similar offerings manufactured by competitors. While use of the trademark 'Post-it' in a representative sense refers to any sticky note, no legal authority has ever held the trademark to be generic.


Roboto is a neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface family developed by Google as the system font for its mobile operating system Android, and released in 2011 for Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".Google developed the font to be "modern, yet approachable" and "emotional". The entire font family has been licensed under the Apache license. In 2014, Roboto was redesigned for Android 5.0 "Lollipop".

Software widget

A software widget is a relatively simple and easy-to-use software application or component made for one or more different software platforms.

A desk accessory or applet is an example of a simple, stand-alone user interface, in contrast with a more complex application such as a spreadsheet or word processor. These widgets are typical examples of transient and auxiliary applications that don't monopolize the user's attention.

On the other hand, graphical control elements (GUI "widgets") are examples of reusable modular components that are used together to build a more complex application, allowing programmers to build user interfaces by combining simple, smaller parts.

Wear OS

Wear OS, also known as Wear OS by Google and previously called Android Wear, is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables. By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 4.3 or newer, or iOS version 8.2 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application, Wear OS integrates Google Assistant technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.

Wear OS supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Released devices include Motorola Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and the Samsung Gear Live. Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar and TAG Heuer, Mobvoi.In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped. As of 15 March 2018, Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations. Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smart watch market in 2015.


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