By Darryl Budge
Google Keep (free iOS app, Android app or Keep.Google.com) is a powerful note and reminder app that will ensure you never forget as long as your phone is nearby.
NOTE INPUT VIA TEXT OR VOICE: You can create a note, list (dot-points), drawn note, or insert an image. Tap the microphone button to create a note or list via voice input. Notes can be colour-coded, and categorised with tags to make searching for it easier later on.
SMART ALERTS: When you create a note on a phone, you can time an alert to your note, or based on your proximity to a location (e.g. as you come near your local store). It is easy to add multiple reminders.
CAPTURE AND OCR-SCAN ANY TEXT: If you "choose an image" or "take a photo", in the new note click on the three-dot menu item at the top right and tap "Grab image text". If there is recognisable handwritten or printed text in your image, Google will output selectable text on your note.
SHARE SHOPPING LISTS: Simply create a dot-point list and title it "Shopping list" or simply "Shopping", then add items. Later, you can add more list items via voice command on Google Now (see next feature). Best of all you, you can share any note or list with your family or any Google user via the 'collaborate' option.
GOOGLE NOW INTEGRATION: In the Google app (also available on iOS), say 'Okay Google, add to my shopping list'. Your phone will display the 'shopping list' card, then play a tone when it is ready to hear the next item. You can add more items, then say "finished" or "that's it" when you're done. In the Google app you can also create a Google Keep note via the "Remind Me" button.
'Always on display': time and notifications on any Android device
The new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have technology with an 'always on display', but you can have it on your Android phone too. This is only recommended for devices with more efficient AMOLED screens (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S3 to S7) as these have a much lower battery drain.
The free Android app Glance Plus enables an always on screen widget your notifications and time without waking up your phone. The app has many options regarding timeout, charging, inactive periods, widget font size, content brightness and background brightness.•