Google Keep will lose its Chrome App in February 2021 (via 9to5Google), as part of the company’s long term plan to kill off all Chrome Apps in favor of universal progressive web apps. Users of Google’s note-taking app who access it through the Chrome app are being greeted with a banner warning that “Keep will be moving from the Chrome app to your browser soon” and suggesting that users upgrade to the extension and website instead. According to a Google support page, you can still create your own Keep app by going to the Keep website and creating a windowed Chrome shortcut of it.
The news isn’t a total surprise. Last month Google finally gave a timeline for the end of Chrome Apps, which confirmed that support would continue until June 2021, with an extra year for Chrome OS devices and specialist apps with a Device Policy integration.
Alas, Google has clearly decided that it’s going to start pulling its own apps before that date. One side effect of this is that the option to keep Google Keep on your Chrome OS lock screen will also be removed. This will frustrate some users who rely on the lock screen option for speedy notetaking. Moreover, Keep Chrome App users will not be able to access their notes offline after support finishes, though access from Android and iOS will continue.
Google is keen to remind us that the end of Chrome Apps is not the same as the end of the more versatile Chrome Extensions, which will carry on as before: “Google will continue to support and invest in Chrome Extensions on all existing platforms. Fostering a robust ecosystem of extensions is critical to Chrome’s mission and we are committed to providing a useful extension platform for customizing the browsing experience for all users.”
To celebrate the transition, Google Keep will be getting a new icon, already appearing for some desktop users.