Google Keep: The Next New Service to Die

| Analysis

Google just unveiled its Evernote-like Google Keep online note and information organizer, and Evernote has nothing to worry about. Keep may be handy, but it isn't a core service for Google, which means it most likely will eventually see an untimely demise, just like Google Reader.

Google's track record says Keep may face the same fate as ReaderGoogle's track record says Keep may face the same fate as Reader

Keep lets users store note, photos, audio files, and other bits of data that may come in handy later. The information is stored in user's Google Drive, just like other data from Google's own services. An Android OS app is available now, and Google promises an iOS app is coming soon.

The idea of having a single location to store and manage everything online may be enticing, but Google isn't doing much to instill faith in its users. Even as the service officially launched, Google users were already questioning how long the service would last -- and with good cause.

Only days ago, Google announce it will be shutting down Google Reader in just a few months. The company managed to take over the RSS feed management market several years ago, forcing third party developers to rely on the service for their RSS feed syncing between devices. With Reader sitting on death row, developers have been left hanging and are now scrambling to develop their own solutions to keep their apps from breaking.

Over the past few months, Google has axed a long list of products it offers, which isn't helping users feel confident in relying on the company's offerings. The company also killed off the desktop version of Snapseed, which was an amazing image enhancement utility for the Mac and Windows.

On the demise of Google Reader, company Software Engineer Alan Green said, "There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience."

Focus is great, but letting customers rely on your products only to shut them down time and again isn't the way build trust. The message Google is sending now is, "Stick with the services and apps you're already using because after you're dependent on ours we'll shut them down."

The little twist of irony here is that Google Keep may well be a service that the company plans to keep around long term. Google already culls scads of information from its users through their Gmail accounts and Web browsing activities, and Google Now gives the company a way to track user's day to day activities, too. Google Keep could provide more information about user's interests that proves valuable since it will give the Internet search giant yet another way to peer our lives.

Thanks to the diminishing level of trust users have in Google, the company could have a hard time drawing in as many Keep users as it wants. That, of course, assumes the vast majority of Google users pay attention to which products have been axed over time -- and the reality is that the vast majority of Google users probably don't know or care.

In the end, Google will probably get plenty of users for Keep while those of us that follow the company's decisions will stay away. And in a couple years we may be telling our friends that hopped on the Keep bandwagon that we saw the end of the line coming.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This editorial brought to you by Ping and Xserve.

Jamie

The difference being no one relied on Ping for anything, let alone used it, and Xserve was never exactly a sales sensation for Apple (they have had a laundry list of failed products and strategies over the years. No one thought they walked on water until Steve Jobs passed, after which the revisionist machine went into overdrive).

Try again. raspberry

sflocal

Pay no attention to Bosco.  He obviously (and conveniently) failed to include Flash that he hilariously preached to all of us would be the end-all-and-be-all of iOS.

Still waiting for that movement to occur…

RonMacGuy

You know, for a company that is claiming to be scalable to a million employees, google sure is cutting a lot of products.  Makes you wonder how much of what comes from their executives’ mouths is complete and utter BS.  And makes you wonder what the million employees are going to be working on.  And, makes you wonder why they are cutting so many Motorola employees as they are trying to grow to a million employees.  Yes, complete and utter BS.

Buck

forget about google reader - google already has a track record with a personal note keeping product - remember google notebook??

RonMacGuy

He obviously (and conveniently) failed to include Flash that he hilariously preached to all of us would be the end-all-and-be-all of iOS.

Now sflocal, we can’t expect Bosco to actually take responsibility for what he says.  We should all be able to say whatever we want to without any repercussions.  Hey, maybe I should try out this Bosco Model…

I predict that in about a year, we will see the declining and mostly irrelevant google keep service, which will spell the demise of google, and android will drop to 5-10% US smartphone market share.

LMAO.  Now, in about a year, if anyone brings this up, I will simply insult them and act like I never said it!!  So easy!!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@sflocal: Continuing our discussion from last time. In addition to the Flash API and toolchain being subsumed into Adobe AIR, so that Flash developers could make tens of thousands of apps now in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, there has been some interesting Adobe news this week. Apple hired the guy from Adobe who was the point man on getting the Flash API available to iOS developers as the AIR platform.

But hey, Flash is “dead”, because it’s a horrible idea that you shouldn’t have to be a character on Big Bang Theory to write whole classes of simple multimedia applications.

Jason

I love editorials.  They are like little kids throwing a tantrum when other kids have something they want, but their mother said they couldn’t have it, only bitchier.  This is a prime example.  “Keep” it up!  <See what I did there>

Ed Franco

I also worry about them shutting down there service… I use it but isn’t my main note taking app. I use a Mac so stick with Google “original” Note and Mac’s Note app because I know it will be there “always”

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