Yesterday, Google released a new app called Keep. It’s intended to be a note-taking, post-it note, scrapbook type of app to compete with Evernote. So far, I’ve gone about as far as opening the app, so my opinion reflected in this post may change as I play with it more. But there are some pieces to Keep I’ve noticed that make me wonder if this newly hyped app really is something new.
Firstly, the URL is a sub-directory of Google Drive (www.drive.google.com/keep). Usually, Google creates a new page for new products or tools. Everything follows a ____ dot Google dot com format. Being attached to Google Drive suggests it is a part of Drive. This is interesting to note because everything you can do in Keep you can do in Drive. The difference is Keep seems to be organized more in a note fashion.
Google Drive used to be called Google Docs. Docs was the web-based alternative to Microsoft Office. It offered a word processor, spreadsheet, slide show presentation tool, and more. To compete with the cloud services available, Google integrated Docs with a cloud storage service and named it Drive. Google Docs, a web service for document creation, had become Drive, a storage service with document creation and editing capabilities. This already could type notes, add pictures, etc — these are the things Keep is capable of doing.
Keep can’t do all of the things Evernote can do, which also suggests Keep is an off-shoot of Drive and nothing new. Evernote is known for it’s ability to capture websites, which Keep doesn’t do — at least not yet. Evernote can also attach audio to notes, which isn’t present in Keep or Google Drive. Keep also has no support for storing your location to a note.
What keep does have that’s different from Drive is the interface. Keep is designed to be a simple, grid-like interface resembling the post-it notes I see covering my refrigerator at home. Beyond that, it appears to be Google Drive simplified into a scrapbook. I see lots of potential for Keep to evolve into it’s own product and be a true note-taking competitor, but it still has time to grow. Being only a couple of days old, I understand it’s lack of features and level of maturity. What do you think? Is this really something new or did Google just create a simplified section of Drive to encourage more people to use it?