Google Keep hasn’t seen a major update in quite some time – aside from a new icon, despite being a mature Workspace app already. Google is working on a small feature that will allow you to customize the background of Keep Notes.
Update 7/28: The ability to set background images in Google Keep is now widely deployed after it appeared for some users earlier this week. Opening a note reveals a new color palette button to the right of the plus sign in the bottom corner.
Colored backgrounds have been moved here – from the overflow menu, while a second carousel showcases nine Google background templates that adapt to system-level dark / light themes.
They are all very nice and cover the entire screen, from the status bar and the app to below the gesture area. Meanwhile, these images are previewed on the Google Keep home screen. Available on Android and iOS, they don’t sync with the web. You will still see the note text inline, but without a background.
Original 7/9: The capacity was quietly announced today but is not yet deployed – it could take up to 15 days. Once available, opening a note will display a “palette icon” to select a background of “designer created images”. It looks like this will be available for text notes, while the ability to add an image to a design and doodle over it is already available.
You can now customize your Google Keep notes on Android and iOS by choosing a background from a set of images created by a designer. Just open a note, select the icon from the palette, and select a background. | Available to all Google Workspace customers and users with a personal Google Account.
This aforementioned button does not exist today. You can only open the overflow menu in the lower right corner to get an 11 color carousel or the default option with no background. This gives a theme to the entire screen and the note preview on the main stream.
A slight overhaul of the Notes UI may be coming to accommodate this addition. The ability to come itself is interesting at a time when “the iPhone Notes app has become the medium of choice for celebrity mea culpas,” as a 2016 New York Times Styles article summarized. This time, a quick copy and paste into the notes app is a common gesture for reporters who get statements and share them on Twitter as screenshots. With this new feature, Google could seek to make Keep a more attractive option for such behavior.
Once online, Google Keep backgrounds will be available to Workspace clients and free users on Android and iOS. The web is not mentioned and it is not clear if the custom image will be synced.
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