Google Keep Note-Taking App Raises Profile of Rival Evernote

With the arrival of Google Keep, Evernote claims that its note-taking app, already well-entrenched in the market, appears to be gaining in market share and popularity.

A funny thing happened when Google accidentally unveiled and retracted its new Keep note-taking app on March 17 before launching it for real on March 20. Google's post-and-pull move apparently gave competitor Evernote some good publicity as an alternative to Keep.

As a result, Evernote has been seeing an increase in downloads and usage, Phil Libin, the CEO of Evernote, told GigaOm in a March 24 interview.

"Libin reasons that just as the Weather App on iPhone helped jump start interest in other apps like the one from say the Weather Channel, Google Keep will push the interest higher in note-taking and clipping apps like Evernote," the story reported. "His arguments are backed by an uptick in downloads of the Android version of Evernote since the Keep news came out" on March 17.

Specific increases for downloads and users were not released by Libin, but he told GigaOm that the increases were "enough for him to notice."

Evernote has been busy in the marketplace recently. The company just struck a deal with German telephone company Deutsche Telekom to provide one year's free service of Evernote to the phone company's 59 million customers, according to a March 25 blog post by The Wall Street Journal.

"Evernote, which reports that 50 million people are using its cloud-based note-taking and article-clipping app, is betting that Deutsche Telekom users will fall in love with its premium version and will want to pay for it after the one-year free trial expires," the blog post reported. The premium version offers additional features, including more upload capacity, faster search, note sharing and offline note availability.

The new competition between Evernote and Keep also has some other facets.

Some users are posting comments online that are critical of Google because the search giant is continuing its ongoing practice of starting up new services and ending older services as it sees fit. What is angering users is that products they grow to love and rely on can be dumped by Google, leaving them searching for adequate replacements. The critics say they are losing trust in Google's long-term commitments to products that they come to love.

That can happen, of course, with any online service, especially those that are offered for free, as are so many of Google's products. But it seems like the company has been receiving more criticisms lately from many loyal Google users after the recently announced plans to end its Reader RSS feed aggregation service on July 1 and after an RSS extension for its Chrome Web browser was removed from circulation for a few days.

Some critics have even said they'd use Evernote over Keep just so they can support the little guy in a marketplace often dominated by Google.

Google Keep is available for free download in the Google Play store for devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and above.

The appearance of Google Keep makes it apparent that the company is creating its own note-taking app to take on competitors such as Evernote and Microsoft OneNote. Google has been down this road before, but had abandoned earlier efforts on such a project, which it would add to its stable of other online services for users, such as Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar and more.