Google Keep update preps new drawing mode, image annotation

Google clearly has big ambitions for Keep, with an eye toward making it a competitor to OneNote and Evernote.

google keep android
Derek Walter

You may soon be able to scribble out a note or markup an image with Google Keep.

These new capabilities are hiding out in the code for the latest update, which Android Police uncovered in an APK teardown. In terms of visible day-to-day features the update is pretty minor, hence the small version bump from version 3.2.354 to 3.2.415. 

The story behind the story: Google Keep continues to grow into a rather powerful service, with many new features like collaboration, the ability to save a note into a Google Doc, and an iOS app. If drawing is on the way, that would enable you to use Keep as your go-to note taker.

Get your stylus ready

The code contains instructions that are waiting on deck. When Google flips on the switch, get ready to draw:

"For ideas that are outside the box - try Keep’s new drawing feature! Create a drawing from scratch, or draw on an existing image. As with all Keep notes, drawings sync across your devices, and are fully collaborative when shared with other Keep users."

This would especially appeal to Galaxy Note users, who could select Keep as one of the apps to be at the ready when ejecting the stylus (known as Air Command).

The input seem pretty straightforward for now, with a small selection of pens and erasers to choose from. According to the APK, you’ll have up to 28 different colors to choose from.

google keep drawing icons Android Police

A mashup of some of the pens and eraser tools show what you may soon be able to do with Google Keep.

It’s a nice feature bump, though Keep still has some ways to go to offer a truly competitive feature set. The app could use a Chrome extension to clip websites, for example, which is a staple feature for both Evernote and OneNote. Keep would also benefit from deeper ties to other Google services, such as the ability to search notes from Drive or save attachments from Gmail directly into Keep.

You can get the latest version from the Play Store or APK Mirror. None of the new features are there yet, but you should at least get some stability improvements.

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