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Google Update ‘Keep’ for Chrome With New Features, Visual Changes

Google Keep Toolbar changes

Google Keep Tweaks Appearance

Google Keep for Chrome, the desktop tool for the search giant’s note-taking service, has gained a sizeable update this week. 

A number of small new features have been added to version 2.0 of the offline-enabled app, while core interface elements have been tweaked to better match the Android version of the app.

New Features Added to Keep

Right away the most visible change you’ll find is the new default view called ‘Active’. This is now the top-most item in the sidebar drawer.

Google Keep tweaks

Left: new drawer items; Right: old drawer

By default all new notes are considered ‘Active’ and are listed in the default view. Notes, reminders and lists that aren’t pressing, or you don’t want on show all the time can be marked as ‘not active‘, at which point they disappear from the default view.

Inactive notes are not deleted or inaccessible; a new option allowing you to view all notes, regardless of status, has been added to the sidebar and sits beneath the ‘Reminders’ entry (which is unchanged).

Google Keep List Reordering

Google Keep List Reordering

List items can be reordered by drag and drop in version 2.0.  Mouse over the list to reveal the grab bar on the left-hand side, click and hold on this, then pull it to where you want and let go to land it in place.

Elsewhere, a new set of ‘List Settings’ have been introduced, accessible through the tool-strip menu (vertical stack of dots) on a list-style note. Options include:

  • Position of new list items when added (top or bottom)
  • Behaviour of checked items (grouped or in position)
  • Option to apply changes to list

The action bar has also been tweaked to match the (upcoming) Android Google Keep app, switching from dark flat icons against a white background for white icons against a grey one.

Google Keep launched almost one year ago as a direct successor to Scratchpad. Its Chrome App is available from the Web Store for free, though requires a Google account to both install and make use of it.

Install Google Keep for Chrome

Update March 14: Google has since pushed out an update to Keep that reverts the majority of these changes.

With thanks to Lee Jarratt 
  • Josh Bambrick

    sounds intriguing…

    and “wight background”, really?

  • Andy Stetson

    Good timing, I just opened Keep for the first time in a while, 10 seconds later get the popup about an update! Awesome!

  • Excellent. I like Keep a lot. FYI, Google Docs just got updated with a new Add-On’s section. There’s no news on the web about it anywhere that I can find. It just appeared this morning.

  • Simon Petrikov

    If anything, Google Keep is one of few major features why I use Chromium as my primary Web Browser. It’s good to see that Google is pushing this little piece of Software forward. Because it’s really, really useful.

    Thanks for the news, by the way. =)

  • Simon

    Does this work with the web version or only the chrome app? Because usually I just visit the website.

    • Spring Snow

      Not yet, but it seems to be getting there.

  • Spring Snow

    Google Keep is a gift that keeps on giving (pun absolutely intended). It’s really shaping up to be one of the best Google offerings yet. All I wish is that Google would offer some much needed APIs or sharing options, as I often need to share a note with my teammates or email a list or reminder to someone.

  • Wesley Files

    Their’s a third-part Keep app on iOS, which doesn’t have offline functionality like I would hope, but it (hopes to) reformat the web version to fit iOS device screens. I mention it because it just automatically gets this new functionality.

    Still, I’d love an offline version that syncs once I connect to the internet.

  • Mik Furie

    Hmmm, odd. I’ve had the list reordering for a while now (although it freezes the app when I try to use it) but the rest of the additions aren’t showing and the link to the app shows nothing about updating.

  • I’m a big fan of Google Keep. I have been using the Google Keep Chrome app by Google to use Google Keep.

    However, since the update, whenever I try and launch the Google Keep Chrome App I get a pop up screen asking me to login although I have already logged into my Google Account. When I click on the signin button nothing happens.

    I can access Google Keep in the browser and also using another extension called “Panel View for Keep”. Has anyone else faced a similar problem. If anyone can help that would be great.

    • Barry

      Pali, I had the same problem with the Keep Chrome app. I went into my Chrome extensions and deleted Keep, then re-installed it and now it launches properly.

  • Giacomo Cannelli

    Is it me, or since the update the broswer version is a little buggy? It’s slow, and sometimes it keeps (no joke intended :P) updating. Moreover it’s very slow when typing.