A couple days after leaking a preview, Google has officially released its note-taking service, Google Keep.
A first glance at the web version of Keep doesn't reveal very much at all -- it's basically a big white rectangle with a spot to type a note title and the note itself, plus some icons to add color and images. You can also start a list rather than a regular note.
That's about it.
You can also download the Keep app to any Android device running version 4.0 or later. It adds automatic transcription for voice notes and other mobile-specific features. Still, it's pretty minimal compared with Evernote -- the best known note-taking app out there. But that's probably because Google isn't trying to take on Evernote.
Rather, this is an equivalent to Microsoft's OneNote mobile app, which provides a handy place to take quick casual notes, and automatically stores them online -- you never have to save anything manually.
OneNote has become essential to me on my Windows Phone -- I use it for grocery lists, to remember where I parked, and to keep lists of records and books I might want to buy the next time I actually walk into a physical media retailer. I never use it to take notes in meetings -- if I had a Windows tablet, I probably would, but I'm usually on a laptop, so typing into Word or Notepad seems easier.
Basically, I use it for everything I used the iPhone's Notes app for. Notes syncs with Apple's cloud service, iCloud.
So this is Google shoring up its online services to make its total end-to-end mobile experience better -- just like Apple and Microsoft do regularly. Perhaps this is in preparation for the rumored Google X Phone coming out later this summer.
It's a smart and necessary move, but it's not an Evernote-killer.