Google on Wednesday announced Google Keep, a note-taking service similar to Evernote, for both the Web and Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean) devices. You can try the service out now for yourself at Drive.Google.com/Keep or download the Android app from the Google Play Store.

Google describes Keep as a service that lets you “save ideas and organize to-dos the moment they happen by creating notes, lists, photos and voice recordings right from your phone” (don’t worry, it also works on tablets). You can access, edit, and create new notes on the Web from the above website, and furthermore, Google says you’ll be able to do the same directly from your Google Drive account “in the coming weeks.”

Keep also lets you speak to it: the service transcribes voice memos for you automatically. Since we’re talking about Google here, there’s also a “super-fast search” function so you can find the note you wrote, read it, and then either archive or delete it.

Also in typical Google-fashion, here’s a YouTube video to explain the newly-launched service:

Just two days ago, news of Keep leaked out as Google apparently launched the service prematurely and then promptly took it down less than half an hour later. At the time of writing, Keep is having issues (likely due to the heavy load) but Google has announced it in multiple places, so we’re confident this isn’t another slip up.

Here’s what Keep looks like on the Web (if you’re lucky enough not to get the message “Oops! An error occurred. Please click here to reload the page.”):

google keep up 730x231 Google launches Evernote rival Keep for the Web, Android 4.0 and above

Any changes you make save almost instantly. When you visit the site again, you start off exactly where you left off.

Here is Keep on Android (you can drag your notes around and choose the color for each):

google keep android 730x672 Google launches Evernote rival Keep for the Web, Android 4.0 and above

As you can see above in the left screenshot, it’s a fairly clean and straightforward app. The right screenshot meanwhile shows that Google has integrated it with the Android lock screen (this widget is only available for devices running Android 4.2+).

Google says it is trying to solve the problem of not having your notes and reminders wherever you are. A mobile app launch on its own platform naturally makes sense:

With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you. Your notes are safely stored in Google Drive and synced to all your devices so you can always have them at hand.

We expect Google to follow this launch with a Keep app for iOS. We’ll let you know when that happens.