Google takes aim at Evernote with its new Keep app

Google killed some of its popular services in a “spring cleaning” earlier this month, but is bringing a new one to life this week. After days of rumors fueled by buried code references and a logo, Google Keep launched Wednesday for those seeking an Evernote-esque service with Google Drive integration.

You can create checklists, add photos, and take notes on the Google Keep website or by downloading Keep from the Google Play store.

Keep is compatible with devices running Android 4.0 or higher and can be made into a widget on the home screen for easy access. More than 40 percent of Android users are running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, according to March data collected by Android Developers.

Google Keep is visually appealing, turning your quickly typed thoughts into colorful sticky notes that you can drop and drag anywhere in the app to reflect which items are most important. Another cool feature: Keep transcribes voice memos automatically for you, which is ideal for situations like driving when inspiration strikes. If you have a device running Android 4.2 (just 1.6 percent of users), you can get to Keep without even unlocking your phone.

Evernote competitor

Google Keep is a clear competitor to Evernote and might snag market share solely due to being able to sync Keep items across all devices using Google Drive. Google software engineer Katherine Kuan said in a Wednesday blog post announcing the service that users will soon be able to add and edit notes directly from Drive.

If a note-taking Google service sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Google Notebook, a predecessor to Evernote. Google killed Notebook last year, bringing its data into Google Drive. If you hesitate to embrace Keep after watching Google shed services like Notebook and Reader, you probably won’t be alone.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. PT with a Google Keep video.

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