I am concerned about my privacy. I like to keep my stuff to myself where I don’t have to worry about my personal files, like images, messages, email, and the like, be analyzed by big corporations and probably governments for the purpose of labeling me and categorizing me. Kinda creepy. Makes me want to read 1984 by Orwell.
But Google Keep Is Convenient
At the same time, I, like most people, like the convenience of viewing and editing files (Google Drive), backing up and viewing images (Google Photos), and writing lists, random thoughts, and reminders like, for example, “take course on one-way hashing algorithms” or “make my own Google apps”. [Random thought: maybe I should be a internet evangelist and preach about the protocols of internet file transfers and how md5 hashing works. Not a bad idea Spencer.]
So, yes. I do want to make my own Google apps, or at least find someone that already did on Github. Today, I researched for hours trying to find an open-source and self-hosted app that could replace Google Keep. Couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.
Google Keep has a couple things I like:
- It saves it offline to device when not connected to internet
- Automatically saves notes and syncs them with cloud
- Great UI
- Labels for notes
- Add images
These are the main things I enjoy about Google Keep that I want to find in freeware app or replicate myself.
Open Source Apps That Came Close
Paperwork came close. I liked the style it has and that it is self-hosted, but the main purpose of the app is for file management, and however sleek it is for file tagging and viewing, it is not for me… may want to back-track and play around with this, but I got to stay focused.
- Nice stylesheets
- No Android app
- Not specifically for creating and managing notes
ownNote was another promising alternative. However, it comes with a price. Literally, it costs 99 cents and who wants to spend that on internet freedom. Alright, I might be more willing if I had the option to pay in Bitcoin and if the fact of it being an Android app that makes me feel like I am giving up some of my rights every time I am required to press the “I give you permissions to do whatever with my files” button when prompt about giving permissions to the app wasn’t so much of an issue for me. Other than that it would do more or less what I wanted.
- Client app that allows notes to be saved offline
- Ability to categorize notes
- Can include images in base64 (yay for base64!!)
Gruik seems promising, but it currently lacks client side encryption, tagging, and image uploading. But it should be checked on later in its development.
And Then There Was Progressive Web Apps
So, after finding that my web browsing requests were not satisfied, I journied down the path of creating my own Google Keep alternative app. Whenever I mention to my friend about making a mobile app, he keeps telling me about how Google is pushing for this thing called a Progressive Web App (PWA). I checked it out and it is amazing. Look at this demo site where you can also get tons of stats on tons of Pokemon. You can now have a website load, even when there is no connection. It is wonderful! It is amazing! Try it out right now. Turn off your mobile data and your wifi and unplug your usb tether and try it out! So cool right? This is the path to my internet request. This is how I will create my own Google Keep alternative!