News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday March 20, 2013.
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Google has just launched a new note-taking app designed to synchronize between a web client and Android 4.0 app. Google Keep is a memory aid and productivity tool that creates and edits notes and to-do lists in multiple formats. The app can create a standard text note or one that includes photos taken with a smartphone. It can serve as a way to snap a photo and add reminders or just be a quick way to take a picture to jog a memory later.
Recording voice notes is Google Keep's strongest feature because it includes automatic transcription thanks to incredibly accurate speech-to-text recognition. Both the transcription and the audio file are saved. Notes then sync to the cloud with very little delay. Text notes that I created on the phone appeared on the web in less than five seconds after saving, and the audio files and photos that I saved were available just a few seconds longer when connected to Wi-Fi. The same is true when someone creates a note at the Google Keep website, which is also where to go to access notes from a computer. Task lists can be created online and saved to the phone immediately, or vice versa, and users can even customize list or notes with colors as if they are sticky notes.
Keep is not the first app to offer note-taking, and its bare feature set doesn't yet offer the options of more mature products like Evernote or Catch. It's also not the first note-taking product from Google, which canceled the old Notebook web app and browser extension that was discontinued several years ago. Why should users favor this app and get involved in the ecosystem when it could just as easily end up the victim of yet another spring cleaning in which the company decides to once again shut down a well-liked service? Google may have to do some convincing to get consumers to embrace this product once more, but it appears to have a good foundation on which to build.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.