Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Google Keep Doesn't Even Know Me

Project Status: Feature Request

I have started using Google Keep for notes and reminders. It's nice but I have always been frustrated by the isolation of Google products from one another. The way Google works is different and often small teams work on different products, with seemingly little or no communication with other teams. Often what I come across with Google is that one product does something really well or innovative but the idea is not shared with other Google products. In this case some Google products know my "Home" and "Work" locations but Google keep does not.

Google Keep Location Reminder
My idea for Google Keep, and I am sure it is only a matter of time until this is worked into the product, is a better integration of location knowledge. Currently I can make a note in Google Keep and set a time based reminder or a location based reminder. As of version 2.1.01 it is still frustrating that Google Keep seems to know very little about my locations.

What Google Keep needs to add is a permission for access to my contact data so that it can help pick locations from any addresses saved in my contact list. It also needs to tie itself into my map data so that it can learn the addresses I have set for "Home" and "Work" and addresses that I frequent. After all, I am pretty likely to want reminders based on when I arrive at home or at work.

The problem now is that when I try to pick a location for a reminder there is no possible way to save the location until the app is able to go out and verify the address. All good and well until I get completely stuck on the screen when I have no connection to the internet (thanks for that btw T-Mobile).

The app should be smart enough to retain an internal list of addresses which it knows to be valid, vs the current method of halting the app for verification at the time of input. This list should be verified ahead of time and populated from my contact data, my map data and previously used locations in the Google Keep product itself.

Now for the far-fetched pipe dream portion of the idea. Not only do I want to be able to enter static verified addresses, I also want the freedom to enter more generic locations such as the name of a franchise or chain. Maybe I'm making a list of items to buy at a store and I want to enter the store name but not an address so that no matter which one of the store's locations I go to I will be reminded of my list. I do understand the complexity this adds to the system and feel that it may not be a worth the overhead, but with Google's mapping knowledge it is possible.

I'll just be happy if I can enter an address while I don't have an internet connection. Much happier still if I'm able to pick a location by typing the name of a contact or a business name rather than knowing the physical address off the top of my head.

Want to help make it happen? It's been added as a suggestion for Google. Go here to vote on it and make it happen.