Google Keep, Google Reader and Trusting the Cloud


Today Google released a new note-taking and to-do application called Keep.  New Google tools are always interesting, but this one should particularly interest me as I’ve used OneNote, and to a lesser extent Evernote, for years now.  I’ve got a huge amount of notes and diagrams stashed away, and having it all in one place in a single app that lets me organise and search it is genuinely useful.

So why has Keep left me in two minds?  On the face of it Keep looks like a great little app, the video above shows roughly what it looks like and does – nice eh?  I use Google Apps for my mail and other stuff so it should be perfect…

And yet Google’s recent retirement of it’s Reader application has left me with questions.  Every year Google has a spring clean, announcing the closure of a few tools or apps with a few months notice.  The first big one was Google Wave, and last week they announced Reader was on its way out, but they are just two of many.  Each will have had enthusiastic users left out in the cold, Reader more than most I imagine.

The ease with which Google has turned off Reader does beg the question of whether investing time and information into Keep is going to be worth it.  Sure its free, but there are other free note-taking apps out there.  Evernote is the obvious one, they’re successful enough to rely on and its their core business – they’re probably not going to turn it off.

Maybe I’m stuck in the past, thinking back to the days when you had applications on dvd’s that will always work… but I also see the huge value of the dynamic development the cloud apps bring.  IMHO if the likes of Google are going to keep the trust they’ve earned from their customers they’ll need to start being more open about product lifecycles and support policies.

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