After being spotted in Google Drive’s source code and a screenshot from one of Google’s Android devices, the webpage for Google’s previously unheard of Google Keep service went live for a few hours this morning. While it has nothing to do with the demise of Reader and sadly isn’t a replacement, the service does seem to be a simple notebook/to do list app that will compete with the likes of Evernote and Springpad. Based on quite a few screenshots captured by Android Police (sadly, I was busy during the short time the service was up), we have a fairly good idea of what the new Google product entails.
At its core, Google Keep is a combination of the now-dead Google Notebook web clipper and the Tasks feature integrated into Gmail that most users probably don’t even know is there. In its current state as leaked today, Google Keep looks quite simple: The service displays a list of color coded notes with images and checklists, and has a thumbnail or list view for displaying them. Beyond color coding, notebooks didn’t seem present, and while search functionality should work well, there was no option for tags either.
Although it isn’t much in its current form, I’m at least a little excited about Google Keep. I am probably one of the few who actually uses Gmail Tasks, and quite like the integration with Google Calendar that the service provides. A task service with integration with Google Drive for images and longer notes, web clipping, and better organization would be even better, and that seems to be what Keep is all about. Keep’s probable Drive integration also reminds me of ToDo.txt, a simple app that uses a text file in Dropbox as a to do list and worked quite well.
Any number of services already provide note taking, web clipping, and task services, and I have used many of them. However, the prospect of a unified offering from Google is still something that I am interested. If Google manages to integrate Drive, Calendar, and Gmail properly into one app that will keep track of todo lists, shopping lists, notes, images, and webpages, without being overly complicated, Keep could be a real success. It may not appease all the unhappy Google Reader users out there, but I’m quite excited to see what Google Keep turns into.[Android Police]