Google on Wednesday officially unveiled its new note-taking service, dubbed Google Keep. “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,” Google said 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.”
The Google Keep app is available for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above via Google Play. There’s also a home-screen widget so Keep remains front and center, and for those with Android 4.2+, a lock-screen widget provides easy access to Keep. Users can also access, edit and create new notes on the Web at drive.google.com/keep; “in the coming weeks you’ll be able to do the same directly from Google Drive,” Google said.
The service supports voice memos, which Google Keep will transcribe automatically. Naturally, there’s a search component and the option to delete or archive notes once you’re done with them. Drag and drop to prioritize notes, and select a different color for each note. In a screen shot (right), the notes on an Android phone lined up like the live tiles on Windows Phone.
News of Google Keep shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, thanks to a Monday leak from Carlos Jeurissen with IE100, who did some digging in the source code of Google Drive and found a previously unreleased icon for something known as Keep. That code suggested that the project is related to Drive, and would get its own Android app.
This would not be Google’s first foray into note taking. In 2009, the company announced that it would stop active development on Google Notebook. By July 2012, the service shut down and all Notebook data was transferred to Google Docs.
You might recall that news of Google Drive leaked in a similar manner. In March 2012, TalkAndroid.com obtained leaked screen shots that tipped a service with 5GB of free storage. Google Drive finally made its debut in late April. For more, see PCMag’s review of Google Drive and Google Drive for iPad.