On the heels of announcing the demise of Google Reader (and several other services), Google has launched a new note-taking app called Google Keep, which has as its tagline “save what’s on your mind.” Keep is currently an Android app, which requires Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, and a web app (under the Google Drive brand). I imagine an iOS app is forthcoming, but there’s no word from Google on that yet.
Most are comparing Google Keep to Evernote (and, to a lesser degree, OneNote). While there is some overlap, Evernote is still a much more robust product with a bigger feature set and far greater device compatibility. Google Keep has an attractive user interface and is being met with a pretty positive response—an average rating of 4.4/5 stars in the Google Play store so far, but it’s presently nowhere near Evernote’s capabilities.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of Google Keep vs. Evernote:
Pros of Google Keep / Cons of Evernote
- Easier to make and manage checklists. Checklist is a note type. You can easily drag-and-drop to reorder items.
- Easier to dictate a note and have it transcribed.
- Possibility of deeper integration with Android and the Google ecosystem.
- Set note colors, perhaps as a way to categorize your notes.
Cons of Google Keep / Pros of Evernote
- No rich-text editing. No ordered or unordered lists, no hyperlinks, no bold or italics, etc.
- No ability to clip web pages.
- No ability to attach documents like PDFs, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, etc., though I imagine we’ll see Drive and Docs integration eventually.
- No OCR-like functionality.
- No notebooks or tags or similar tools for organization.
- No integration with Google Tasks.
- No collaberation.
So is Google Keep better than Evernote? For me the answer is clearly a no. Does it have the potential to get there? Perhaps, but it’s not clear what Google’s long-term plans are for it. For the Google user looking for very basic note-taking functionality who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that Evernote offers, Google Keep might be the better choice.
Google Keep won’t be replacing Evernote for me anytime soon—at least not without addressing most of the issues mentioned above. But it does look like a nice app worth keeping an eye on. And the competition in the note-taking space means we all benefit.
Learn more about Keep in this overview video.
If this does turn into a winner, let’s just hope that they don’t pull the plug on it in a few years in a future round of spring cleaning.
What do you think about Google Keep? Do you see it becoming your go-to note-taking app?
See also my list of other Android apps.