Google adds drawing tools to Keep, issues updates for other Android apps

Google gave a handful of its productivity apps a boost, with updates for Docs, Sheets, Keep, and Slides for Android.

google keep android
Derek Walter

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Google Keep, Google’s note-taking app, now behaves more like a traditional notepad: You can scratch out a quick thought or mark up a photo, thanks to its latest update.

From the drop-down menu you’ll see a new option, Add drawing, which launches a blank canvas with three different pen types, an eraser, and a box tool that lets you grab and move your illustrations around the page.

google kep drawing

You can now add a drawing to any note in Google Keep for Android.

Once you finish your drawing, it saves as a note. You can add additional drawings to that same note, which could be handy for classroom lectures, interviews, or other situations where you want to keep all your thoughts in one place. You can also draw on top of an image that you import into Keep.

There doesn’t appear to be any type of image recognition baked into Google Keep’s search function yet, as you might find in other note-taking apps. For example, Evernote will search your hand-written notes when you’re trying to find a particular word or phrase in your notebooks.

Keep wasn’t the only of Google’s productivity apps to get an update this week. Google Sheets now displays more content on the screen by hiding toolbars and headers when you scroll down. They re-appear when you scroll back up. 

New to Slides is the option to hyperlink text and shapes, and both Docs and Slides now let you create superscript and subscript text.

The updates for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Keep are rolling out through the Play Store this week.

Why this matters: Google Keep is becoming a more important part of the company’s productivity suite. A powerful note-taking app is Google’s missing piece when comparing Google’s tools to Microsoft Office, which has the well-regarded OneNote. The stronger Keep gets, the more attractive Google’s apps for business and education purposes become to those trying to weigh their options and pick a group-wide productivity platform.

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