Google Keep for Chrome adds drawing tools for doodling in notes

You can now use Google Keep to add drawings to notes, but only in the Chrome app.

Google says Chrome apps are disappearing from Windows, Mac, and Linux in just over a year, but in the meantime, it seems the company will continue to polish its collection of Chrome-powered desktop apps. Case in point: Google just updated the Google Keep Chrome app with drawing functionality.

Oddly, the new feature does not exist on the Keep web app; it’s currently only available for PCs via the Chrome Web Store. Keep for Android received the drawing feature in October 2015. More recently, Google upgraded the Android version to convert handwriting created with Keep’s drawing feature into text.

keephandwriting

Keep’s new drawing feature in action.

Using the Keep app’s new drawing feature is fairly easy. From Keep’s Create note menu at the top, tap or click the pen icon to start a note with the drawing feature. At the top of the new note you’ll see a variety of drawing options including a pen, marker, and highlighter with various colors. There’s also an eraser and a selection tool.

keepadddrawing

Drawing in Keep’s overflow menu.

You can also add a drawing to an older note. Open the note of your choice, click the overflow menu option (three vertical dots), and select Add drawing. The same drawing menu will appear with a blank drawing area. You won’t be able to see the rest of your note, but when you finish the drawing will be appended to the top of it.

Drawing works with a mouse or touchpad, but the real appeal will be for anyone running a PC with touch—be it a Windows device or the growing number of Chromebooks with a touchscreen.

The story behind the story: Updating the Keep Chrome app is a curious choice for Google. Every PC type except for Chromebooks will lose access to Store apps in 2018. That means the majority of users are going to lose the drawing feature if it’s not in the Keep web app within the next year.

But even for Chromebooks the update is an odd choice. By the end of 2017, most newer Chromebooks should be running Android apps. That means only non-Android supporting Chromebooks will need to use Keep in Chrome. Google Play-less Chromebooks devices may be in the majority right now, but within a few years Chrome apps will become unimportant to Chromebooks—assuming the shift to Android apps on Chrome OS is a success, that is.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlechrome

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?