Google appears to be testing a new service called Google Keep, which could allow users to compile written notes, task lists, web links and images in one place.
Although Google hasn’t announced the service yet, it briefly went live over the weekend, long enough for Android Police to play around and take some screenshots. Google Keep looks pretty slick, with notes that appear as color-coded cards spread across the screen. That card aesthetic is something we’ve seen a lot from Google lately, in products like Google Now and Google+.
Of course, Google wouldn’t be the first company to offer online, multimedia notes. Keep would compete with services such as Evernote, Catch and Microsoft’s OneNote, which all allow you to store notes online and access them from any device. The advantage for Google would be its integration with Android and with other Google services.
Just to speculate a bit, an “Add to Google Keep” button could appear when looking up websites through Google Search, or it could be built into Google’s Chrome browser. On Android, we could see the ability to dictate a note through voice commands. It’s also easy to imagine the notes with groups of people through Google+, just like you can do with Google Drive documents.
You may recall that Google tried its hand at a note-taking service before with Google Notebook. But that service was more text-driven, and was never adapted for phones and tablets. Google stopped development on Notebook in 2009 and shut the service down completely in 2012, moving all data over to Google Docs. From what we’ve seen of Keep, it would have a better chance to compete with services that have been designed around mobile use.
My guess is that Google will lift the curtains on Keep before long. But as Brad Linder at Liliputing points out, given the fate of Google Notebook and the impending termination of Google Reader, you have to wonder how much you can trust Keep to stick around for more than a few years.