Using Google Keep on your Apple Watch to track reminders, take audio notes and more

Google Keep is available for both Apple Watch and wearOS smartwatches. You can use the free Google offering to keep track of your notes and reminders. The voice transcription for reminders as well as Notes works very well in the Google Keep app.

In this article, we will review how you can start using the free app on your iPhone and Apple Watch and look at some of the integrations that it provides with other apps.

Install Google Keep on Apple Watch

Head over to the Apple app store and download the Google Keep app to your iPhone or iPad and check to make sure it’s installed on your Apple Watch. In order to confirm,

  • Open up the Watch app on your iPhone
  • Tap on My Watch at the bottom left of the screen
  • Scroll down to the section ‘Installed on Apple Watch’
  • Choose Google Keep and make sure that ‘Show App on Apple Watch’ is enabled on this screen.Check Google Keep install on Apple Watch

Now that you have installed Google Keep app on both your iPhone and Apple Watch, let’s take a quick look at how you can use the best features of the app.

Use Google Keep on your iPhone to create a Note or Reminder

Lightly press on the app for a second or two and it will show you the action items. You can create an audio note, create a Photo Note, Create a List of items, or create a generic Note.

Tap on New Note and the Keep app will open up a new screen.Create a Note on Google Keep

From here, tap on the small ‘+’ icon at the top of the keyboard to select from different options for building out your Note. You can tap on ‘Checkboxes’ if you want to create a list of ‘To-Do’ items, or use ‘Drawing; to sketch out an idea on the note.

Explore the features here and create a few sample notes. We suggest you try out the recording feature to add in various voice notes. You will be impressed with the transcription feature of this free app.

In order to create a new Note, tap on the ‘’+” icon and it opens up a screen to create a new note. 

In order to add ‘Reminders’ functionality to a specific note that you created, tap on the bell icon at the top and choose the date/time, etc and set up the reminder functionality for the Note.

You can also decide to pin a specific note by tapping on the ‘Pin’ icon. 

Any Notes and Reminders created here on your iPhone or iPad automatically sync with your Apple Watch.

Use Google Keep on your Apple Watch

Open the Google Keep App on your Apple Watch and you should find the Notes that you created on your iPhone.Apple Watch Google Keep Notes

Notes are presented as cards in each line on the watch Keep app. Photos that you used while creating the reminders on your iPhone are shown in the Watch app as well.

Notes with Reminders for a specific date/time are shown with a little icon on the screen. Tap on the specific Reminder note, and it will show you the date and time associated with the reminder.

You can use your digital crown to scroll through the list.

Your latest Notes are added to the top of the list.

The Google Keep app provides users with some simple actions.

Force touch on the app’s main screen to create a ‘New Note’.Add New Note to Google Keep on Apple Watch

You can choose from the Microphone, scribble, or emoji as the main ways to create a note.

The microphone and auto-transcription work best on the Apple Watch for creating a note.

Voice Note on Google Keep

Unfortunately, there is no provision to add a reminder to a note in the watch version of the app. Similarly, Google Keep does not allow users to edit a note directly on their Apple Watch.

Force Touch action while viewing a specific Note provides users with the ability to either Pin the Note or Archive the Note.

Google Keep Complications for Apple Watch

As of writing, the Google Keep app on the Apple Watch does not provide any complications.

If you are looking for good third party apps for note-taking and reminders that provide complications for your Apple Watch, check out Things 3.

Fantastical is another app that provides you with complications that you can add to your modular face on your Apple Watch. 

Google Keep privacy options

Depending upon what you want to do using Google Keep, it requires different permissions. For users who will be using the app to add images from the iPhone camera to the notes, you will be required to provide permission for the camera. Similarly, if you are using the app for Voice Notes and reminders, it will require Microphone access.

When you first invoke the feature to take a photo or use your voice to dictate a note, Google App will request permission to obtain access to your camera and microphone. Once you have tapped ‘Allow’, you can check the app settings at any time and make changes to these access permissions. Here’s how you do it.

  • Open Settings app on your iPhone
  • Scroll down and locate ‘Google Keep’ and tap
  • Set up your preferences here for Microphone and Camera access

For users who like to use the Google Keep app for dictating notes or reminders but are wary about providing access to Google, you can disable access here once you have completed your transcriptions.

Lastly, it’s important you understand that the Notes that you create are synced to your Google account and handled via Google cloud.

Summary

If you are looking for a simple and cost-free app with great voice transcription abilities to help you track your Notes and reminders across the web, phone, and your Smartwatch, Google Keep is worth trying out.

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

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