It's official. Google's rumored Evernote-like note-taking app, Google Keep, has been released and is now available as a free download in Google Play.
[click to view image]"Every day we all see, hear or think of things we need to remember. Usually we grab a pad of sticky-notes, scribble a reminder and put it on the desk, the fridge or the relevant page of a magazine. Unfortunately, if you're like me you probably often discover that the desk, fridge or magazine wasn't such a clever place to leave the note after all...it's rarely where you need it when you need it," wrote Katherine Kuan, software engineer, in a blog post making the official announcement.
"To solve this problem we've created Google Keep. With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what's important to you. Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand."
Google Keep includes a widget that allows Google Keep notes to always be front-and-center on a user's smartphone or tablet. Another widget, available only for Android 4.2 or later, lets you add notes without unlocking the device.
In another feature, Google Keep will automatically transcribe voice memos. The app also has a search function aimed at letting users easily find what they're looking for. You can drag notes around the screen or change their color to categorize and arrange notes. Once you are finished with a note, you can archive it or delete it.
"You can access, edit and create new notes on the web at http://drive.google.com/keep and in the coming weeks you'll be able to do the same directly from Google Drive," according to Kuan.
Hints that Google Keep was imminent leaked out over this past weekend when Google+ member Carlos Jeurissen posted info about a link to the app on Google Drive, references to the app in the Google Drive code, and the addition of an icon known as "Keep" to Google's products icon folder. Shortly after the link went live on Sunday, though, it disappeared.