Google introduced Google Keep this week, a service that allows you to create and access virtual “Post-It” notes in the cloud. Dubbed an Evernote rival, has Google Keep earned the title? Let’s see how Google Keep stacks up against two popular note-taking apps: Evernote and Springpad.
The app has been rumored since last year, resurfacing last week when a Google Drive URL was discovered for Google Keep. The expectations were that Google Keep would become a repository for saved content, bookmarking websites similarly to Evernote. Now that Google Keep has launched, many are still calling the new app an Evernote rival, though Keep is missing a number of functions that would allow it to truly compete with personal assistant note-taking apps like Evernote. While Google is likely to layer in more features in the coming months, or integrate Keep with its other Apps like Gmail and Google Calendar, the current Keep app is pretty bare-bones.
To help you determine whether or not Keep is worth your while, we’ve compared it to Evernote and Springpad.
Google Keep : out to kill Post-It notes
Google Keep lets users create notes, lists, and audio notes, as well as add photos to any note created. Users can also organize notes created by assigning different colors for work notes, personal notes or other miscellaneous notes. Notes can be easily turned into checklists by showing checkboxes for the note, making a checkable list.
Google Keep is available for Android 4.0 or higher devices, and it lets users view and create notes from homescreen and lockscreen widgets. Also, Google Keep notes can be synced with Google Drive and other Android devices, available for access and editing here.
Because everything is stored in the cloud, all your notes are always available whenever you need it, whether you’re using an Android device or your computer.
The voice integration and mobile access is going to be key for Google’s development of Keep, but right now Search is an important feature for the app. We expect Keep’s true value to emerge through inter-app compotation.
Evernote : recollect this!
Evernote lets you save multiple media types, including notes, photos, audio files and even videos, via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Organizing such a variety of content can become a second job, so Evernote’s been ramping up its search functionality as well. Evernote’s even able to read handwritten text inside images, and that text is searchable. Evernote’s also collaborative, extending its use cases quite broadly.
Evernote’s inter-app strategy works in the reverse as Google’s. While Google is starting out its Keep app on the power of its search technology with the intention of integrating it with existing Google Apps, Evernote is building out its search technology while incurring an ecosystem of internal and third-party apps.
One is Skitch, making it easier to draw onto images, reports or projects to convey thoughts faster. Then there’s Penultimate, which converts the iPad experience to pen and paper. One of the most useful is the Evernote Web Clipper, which expedites the clipping process, and Evernote Hello, which helps you remember people by creating a rich, browsable history of individuals, encounters and shared experiences.
Evernote also recently introduced an enterprise solution, Evernote Business, a paid service for easy work collaboration. Evernote Business users won’t have to worry about their personal notes getting mixed with business notes as personal notes remain private. And like Evernote and Evernote Premium, notes can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Evernote Business has an annual cost of $10/month per user.
Springpad : smart notebooks go the xtra mile
This service lets users create smart notebooks and save clipped articles, photos, scanned product barcodes, recorded voice memo, and even places nearby, making it sharable, public or private. The collaborative notebooks are accessible on pretty much any device you can imagine — Springpad is known for the democratic gesture of updating for all iOS, Android and web users at once.
Unlike other note-saving services, Springpad goes the extra mile. Whenever you save something on Springpad, it adds information to your notes. If you add the name of a restaurant, Springpad will give you a map on how to get there and reviews from people who’ve tried it. If you save a movie, Springpad will show you which theater near you is showing it, along with reviews and nearby activities. Save a product, Springpad will tell you what store offers it for the cheapest price, and alert you when the price changes.
Springpad is available for iOS and Android devices and everything saved on mobile devices can be accessed on your computer by logging in on your Springpad account. You can use Facebook or Twitter to create your Springpad account.
And the crown goes to…
For now, Evernote seems to be the best tool for creating and saving notes on the go, simply because it has more products that users can utilize to enhance their Evernote or note-taking experience.
Springpad is also great, turning your notes into actions without any extra effort or organization on your part.
But if you just want a simple way to create and save notes without any fuss, Google Keep is a perfect tool for starters. It’s so simple and easy to use that you probably won’t need any tutorial or help to use it. But knowing Google, we’re likely to see this integrated into the big picture, or dead-pooled with all the rest of Google’s erroneous side projects.
Here with further analysis on Google Keep, the possible underlying strategies and a firsthand review is our own Kristen Nicole, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy.