Integration. No matter how much we may begin to fear the creep of big data and companies monitoring our every move, every click, and every email, our privacy paranoia is always matched by one competing interest: convenience.
The first time Google Now automatically added directions on my Nexus 4 to an address that I had looked up earlier on my desktop computer, I was a bit creeped out. “How did my phone — what the??”
Now, it’s expected. In fact, it’s a bit frustrating when it doesn’t add directions, as I’ve come to expect and rely on it.
Google’s Keep could creep into my heart and yours the same way. What’s Keep? Per ArsTechnica, it’s a leaked Google product that appears to be a rival to OneNote and Evernote. It’s a note-taking app that integrates heavily with Google Drive and presumably other Google services. The leaked screenshots appear to resemble those of Google+ and Google Now, as well as a failed prior product: Google Notebook.
While it’s true that Keep hasn’t been released — and it may never be, the accidental release/leak is similar to what occurred with Google Drive last year. Each product appeared on a few users’ pages for a few hours, allowing them to play with it and take screenshots. Then it vanished. One might wonder if the “accidental” leaks are simply Google’s way of building buzz amongst the geeks. If so, it’s worked. Every tech blog on the Internet has addressed the phantom app.
It’s basic viral marketing. And thanks to that marketing, we’ll try the program and write a review the moment it is released, as, despite our love of Evernote, we’re waiting with anticipation for Keep’s release.
Why? For lawyers who use Google Apps, like Gmail, Calendar, etc., this could be a truly handy app if it has similar features to Evernote and integrates automatically with other Google programs. It’d be even better if the free version had unlimited sync, the lack of which is my only reservation about Evernote.
Conversely, why might one approach Keep with trepidation? Besides the known privacy issues with Google, there is also their “Spring cleaning” practice that sometimes leaves users in a lurch. TechCrunch points out the problematic timing of a new product launch, just weeks after Google killed it’s popular Reader app, it expects users to flock to a new note-taking app? Why would consumers jump on another Google product when there is a possibility that the app will disappear in a couple years?
That concern may be overblown. Every company ditches unpopular and money-losing programs. Though Google Reader was popular with the tech-oriented crowd who subscribed to RSS feeds, most people don’t know what an RSS is. They do, however, understand note-taking and To Do lists. One product was popular with a niche. The other could be popular with everyone.
- Apple’s ‘Barely Legal Teen’ Snafu and Google Cause Privacy Panics (FindLaw’s Technologist)
- Microsoft’s SkyDrive WILL Be Your Cloud Storage (FindLaw’s Technologist)
- Evernote v. OneNote: Which is the Note Bene? (FindLaw’s Technologist)