One of the ongoing frustrations with using Google services on iOS is that the company is often late to bring its new tools to Apple’s mobile platform. Strategy-wise, it makes sense, since Google is competing for primacy in the mobile market and pushing the best version of its apps to iOS users could give Apple a competitive advantage.
However, it also means that iPhone and iPad users can end up waiting for years to get access to the company’s products through official apps. That’s the case with Google Keep, a note-taking app that launched on Android more than two years ago, and is only now coming to the iPhone and iPad.
It’s designed to be the one-stop shop for pulling in users’ thoughts from around the Web, with an existing Android and Web app. The notes show up as a series of Post-it-esque colored rectangles that can carry different colors along with audio, images, and checklists. Users can then search their notes based on type, color, and the text contents of different notes. It’s also possible to share notes through Keep so that people can work together on things like shared packing lists.
Users can also set time- and location-based reminders for things like remembering to pick up eggs at the grocery store or sending a birthday card off to a family member. That functionality is similar to reminder features that Microsoft has built into its Cortana virtual assistant (which is available on Windows 10 and Android) and what Apple is doing with the Reminders app on iOS.
Why this matters: Google is competing in a crowded market in the note-taking space against products like Microsoft OneNote and Evernote, which have offered iOS users full-featured native apps for much longer. For Keep die-hards who are already using the app on the Web or Android, this could be a welcome alternative to the third-party apps in the iOS App Store that work with Google’s note-taking service.