It could soon be trivially easy to quickly take notes on your Android tablet

Google Keep running on OnePlus Pad
(Image credit: Future / James ide)

Some of the best Android tablets may soon let users quickly jot and scribble notes via the Google Keep app all from their tablet's lock screen, bypassing the need to unlock the device and go hunting for the note-taking app. 

While not official, this functionality was discovered in Android 14 by an Android Authority tipster going by the name of Anh on Discord. By entering the Developer Options in Android 14 and then customizing the lock screen to include Google Keep, Anh found that a long press on the note-taking shortcut on his Pixel Tablet lock screen gave him the option to pen a note without needing to put in a passcode. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to replicate this on my OnePlus Pad so it may currently only be hidden in the Google Pixel Tablet’s settings.

It appears that when Google Keep is activated from the lock screen it only allows you to create new notes and doesn’t seem to give access to the user's saved notes. This is important as many users wouldn’t want their personal thoughts and to-do lists visible to anyone with the device.

At the moment users need to unlock the device and then open up Google Keep to access notes, then select a new note to begin writing. While it's not time-consuming, this as-yet-unreleased lock screen option would offer a streamlined approach that could help users jot down important ideas just a little bit faster. TechRadar's Computing Staff Writer, Muskaan Saxena, noted in a recent article, that this could also provide iPhone users with a reason to switch from Apple notes.

If and when this feature gets rolled out, users will be able to add Google Keep to their lock screen by adding a shortcut via the settings menu. This will function just like the currently available options including Google Assistant, Device controls and Torch, and QR code scanner.

It’s currently not known exactly when this feature will officially launch. However, as Android Authority reports the app seems to work already and could become available very soon. It hastens to add it’s more likely to drop with either the next Pixel Feature drop in March or when Android 15 launches later this year. The report also notes that the feature could become available when the supposedly “productivity-focused Google Pixel Tablet 2 is announced”.

It’s unlikely, though not impossible, that we could see this feature brought to mobile phones as tablets are traditionally used more as drawing and note-taking devices. However folding phones like the Google Pixel Fold and the rumored successor, Pixel Fold 2 could also benefit from this feature.

Google Keep is already a versatile note-taking tool that works across the Google suite of apps on multiple devices. This update could be part of Google's push to become the default note-taking app on Android devices, and while not exactly a game changer, it would be very handy for students, designers, or anyone wanting to take quick notes on the go.

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Staff Writer, Mobile Computing

James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.  

James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.

When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.

He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.