By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 18, 2013 10:12 AM EDT
Google seems to be readying an Evernote rival, as an intriguing Google Keep note-taking app made a brief and likely unintended appearance Sunday.
Google Keep went live for less than half an hour, but it was enough to make an impression and in some screenshots before disappearing.
Android Police spotted the new app on Sunday, March 17, at http://drive.google.com/keep/, but Google quickly moved to fix its mishap and remove the app. Trying to access the link now will only retrieve a 404 error message. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the matter.
In recent years, Google moved to streamline the company by cleaning out a clutter of old projects and nixing several services in the process, including the recent Google Reader removal. At the same time, the Internet giant is still working on new projects and plans to fill some of that void left by the cleanup. Now, it seems that Google accidentally revealed its plans to re-enter the note-taking space. Did someone hit the wrong button and send Google Keep live by accident?
Google Keep appears to offer users lists of notes, allowing them to color-code the note, make checklists, save pictures, or send notes to the bottom of the list by archiving them. Users can view their notes both in list and thumbnail views. Google also threw in a search bar to enable users to easily search within their notes.
As Android Police points out, Google Keep is very similar to late Google Notebook. Google killed off its Notebook app back in July 2012 and transferred all data to Google Drive, which is where Google Keep seems to be headed.
The idea behind Google Keep does not seem new, as Google revealed the app's existence in a screenshot on an official Google+ blog post in July 2012, again allegedly by accident.
All accidents and coincidences aside, it makes sense for Google to offer a note-taking app, especially as note-taking seems to be a hot and profitable trend these days. Evernote, for instance, raised a $70 million Series D round of funding at a $1 billion valuation last May. It has an impressive customer base of at least 48 million users and in the past four years Evernote saw its revenue triple year-to-year.
It would be surprising if Google didn't want a slice of that pie, especially since the Internet giant already has some advantages, including an army of already popular and established products and, of course, its powerful Google brand. Google could grab some of that note-taking market share simply by integrating its Keep app into its already established products such as Gmail, Google Now, Google+, Google Calendar and its mobile apps.
When Google Keep eventually goes live to stay, it will compete with other note-taking services such as Evernote, Pocket and Onenote. The accidental leak may mean the app is ready to make its debut soon.
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