Google Keep vs. Evernote: Which Does More?

As Google Reader is laid to rest, we take a look how well Google’s note-taking and syncing service compares with the current firm favorite Evernote

Written by Kaye Neylon

At Jungle we love our apps and the latest offering from Google is by no means an exception! Keep, the new memo and syncing service has been officially unleashed into the wild, but how does the new service compare with Evernote?

Two weeks ago Google Keep was leaked onto the net for us all to feast our eyes on and it looked a lot like an Evernote clone. After Keep’s official release, its name, promo video and aspects of the user app interface all evoke a certain Evernote-like quality.

We investigate further into one of the most talk about apps of 2013!

The Interface

Google Keep vs. Evernote

Both Evernote and Google Keep let users create and store memos, audio notes or voice-to-text dictated notes, checklists as well as images. Both offer a seamlessly simple sync option from the data to the web, yet Evernote pips Google Keep to the post with an option of other syncing clients.

The biggest difference is that, currently, Evernote is a much more mature app.

Google Keep gives users the option to either archive a note or keep it on your home screen, but unlike Evernote you can’t organise notes into categories. Google Keep also lacks a tagging system which Evernote was the first to do, so your search is limited to what text is contained in the note itself.

Jungle Verdict: Evernote offers a more robust interface and has more options for organisation and tagging.

The Notes

Google Keep vs.Everynote

Both Google Keep and Evernote offer a number of different note types, each with their own small perks. Evernote offers a robust option as users can create a text note, an audio note (or a speech-to-text message), a photo or an attachment. Within text notes, users can incorporate other data — including checklists and photos. You can also add audio notes directly to a text note too!

In the case of Google Keep, both notes and checklists are very different. A checklist is its own type of note, and each new line is another item that can be marked checked or unchecked. Unlike Evernote, you can’t add checklists to regular notes but images can be added to any other note type.

Jungle Verdict: Evernote offers far more flexibility for note types.


Google Keep vs. Evernote

This is probably where Google Keep overtakes Evernote, the Android app version’s of Keep offers a ‘prettier’ and more aesthetically pleasing display. Evernote’s widget can be configured on the home screen of an Android but the slightly dated look pales in comparison to the sleek fresh Keep.

For users running Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean” or later, the Google Keep widget can also be configured on the lock screen, which is a big bonus if you wanted to make a quick note or access your notes fast.

Both widgets allow easy access to create text notes, new photos and new voice memos. Evernote allows users to search documents and Google Keep contains a separate “checklist” item.

Both widgets offer the ability to see recent notes directly on the widget screen saving you time. Tapping the note will open it up in a respective app. The Google Keep widget also allows users to scroll through more notes to get a good overview of what is currently not archived.

Jungle Verdict: Both Google Keep and Evernote for Android have the same functionality when it comes to creating quick notes but the stylish Google Keep is the overall winner in this department.

Voice notes and transciption

Google Keep vs. Evernote

Evernote for Android includes the option to create either audio notes or speech-to-text notes which can be a very useful feature for those working in business or those with hectic lives. With speech to text notes, you simply dictate what you want your note to say and Android’s built-in speech-to-text software converts it to text. Voila! It’s that simple.

With Google Keep’s audio notes feature it works slightly different depending on what version of Android you’re running. If you’re running Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” notes are simply converted from speech to text. No audio version of the note is stored on the Google Keep servers.

If your device is using Jelly Bean, the audio file associated with the voice note is also stored alongside each other. Audio files do not play inline on the web version of Google Keep. Instead, you need to download the file (which is stored in the .3Gpp format) first.

A bonus of having Evernote audio files play back within the app, on the web or on the desktop apps for Windows or Mac.

Jungle Verdict: Evernote packs a punch in the audio department which is slightly better but if you are running Android Jelly Bean, the speech-to-text dictation experience is nearly identical to boot too!

Photo notes

Google Keep vs. Evernote

Both Google Keep and Evernote allow users to create notes based on a photo which sounds simple enough. Both apps also allow users to add text to photo notes for more context.

Photo notes are where Evernote really excels, as it includes OCR (Optical Character Recognition) functionality to turn handwritten notes into searchable text and on iOS — and now Android — supports a feature called “page camera” which has been designed to help users take notes directly from a notebook.

Currently Google Keep hasn’t integrated any OCR or page-specific capture options. Instead, the camera interface is the same for whatever option is installed by that phone maker. If you’re using Google’s own Nexus device, you see the stock Google camera interface.

Jungle Verdict: Evernote has better options for taking photos and OCR, but Google Keep has a better browsing interface both on the desktop and online.

Our Verdict

Evernote is a superior service in nearly every way. Google Keep does integrate with Google Drive is something that heavy Google users may find worthwhile. We predict that there will be an integration with Gmail and other Google apps to offer an even more seamless user experience.

When it comes to Google Keep vs. Evernote, where do you stand? Let us know in the comments box below!


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