Written by Internet

Google Keep – Here To Stay?

It’s been really interesting to read the response to Google’s new product launch this week – Google Keep, a multi-platform note taking application.
Most of the discussion seems to have been less about how good the product is, and more about whether it’s worth getting too reliant on it in case Google, down the line, decides to shutter the service.
The launch comes just days after Google did indeed announcer the closing of a service that many people – myself included – relied upon: Google Reader. And as I said at the time, it made me reconsider quite significantly, my reliance on free services.
In this instance, the competitor that Google has in its frame seems to be Evernote. At the moment, the service clearly isn’t up there with Evernote. Indeed it all feels a little flakey for a launch, not even properly integrated with Drive (although we’re told that’s coming). Evernote is truly multiplatform, and works with hardware and even paper products! There’s a strong eco-system, and there’s a paid for service. Evernote’s future depends on this core product.
But Google has practically infinite resources, if it wants to get into an area, and it could of course just go out and buy Evernote I’d assume.
Which brings me to another recent Google shuttering – Snapseed on desktop. Google bought Nik Software, essentially to acquire the mobile version of its Snapseed photography app. However Google has closed down the desktop version of the software, and now photographers are concerned about what will happen with other Nik software aimed at desktop machines – in particular products like Silver Efex Pro. It’s a bit specialist and therefore probably not a core Google product. Will they spin it off? Sell it? Or close it? Maybe they’ll actually develop it.
Nik Software is, one imagines, a profitable company. And Snapseed aside, its products cost money (too much in Europe, but that’s another moan for another day). And there are rivals to it. So we’re not in a Google Reader situation.
Paying for products and services doesn’t guarantee continuity of course. There’s nothing to stop companies go bust, or taking different directions. You don’t have to look far back to find companies that you’d think would be around forever, yet are no longer with us 2013.
But that’s probably something to consider with any cloud based service.
James Fallows at The Atlantic voices many of my concerns.