I’m switching to the Google Keep Android app on Chromebooks

Google Keep has been a long-standing service that I and many others like me have learned to lean on daily. Perhaps not up there with Google’s big apps like Gmail, Photos, and Drive, Google Keep has still managed to carve out its own place in the larger ecosystem and it makes for a fantastic tool across many tasks.

From jotting down notes to creating lists to using it as a digital clipboard across devices, Google Keep has proven that a simpler approach is sometimes exactly what is called for. Though it has changed bit by bit over the years, the Google Keep I use today is quite similar to the one that launched years ago, and I’m glad Google hasn’t clouded the waters with needless features and bloat.

A worthwhile addition

A new addition was made recently to the Android app version of Keep, however, that makes me quite envious when using my desktop PWA version: a split-panel view. I know it is simple, but a simple app tends to get simple, useful updates and this latest one is most definitely useful.

Split-panel view in Google Keep

With the split-panel view, Keep becomes even easier to navigate, allowing me to click a note on the left side and see/edit that note on the right. This allows me to be engaged in a note while scrolling other unopened notes at the same time.

I recently took this for a spin on my Chromebook, and after using it for a few minutes, I was sold. While I love the simplicity of Google Keep, this update adds better functionality while not getting in the way. Oh, and it can be turned off with a single click, too, so there’s no worries about being forced into the 2-panel view if you don’t want it.

But I feel like most people coming from messaging apps and email will immediately feel comfortable with the change and decide that this is the better way to triage notes in Keep. I know that I have, and this now makes 2 Android apps that I’m ready to adopt into my daily workflow as replacements of the PWAs I’ve been using for years. The updates to the Keep and WhatsApp Android apps are very useful and could be leveraged in the PWA if the developers choose to do so, but until that happens, I think I’m sticking with the Android versions.

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