How to Draw and Use the S Pen on Google Keep

Chaitanya Tapase

Google has a list of very useful apps on their Android platform and one such app is Google Keep. I use it quite often and it recently got an update (v3.2.435.0) which will allow users to draw doodles on it. What’s more, if you happen to own any of the Note series of phones from Samsung, then you can effectively use the S Pen too.

Google Keep
Wanna draw on Google Keep? It’s real easy | iJeab / Shutterstock.com

So, let’s see how we can go about it.

Update or Sideload

Some rollouts for app updates can be slow, or you just happen to live in a region which doesn’t get the latest update immediately. If you don’t want to sit around waiting, then we’ve covered an entire article on sideloading and how it’s relatively safer to download and install apps from trusted sources like APKMirror.

Screenshot 2015 07 31 14 34 52 Result

That’s exactly what I’m going to suggest you to do if you don’t see the update for Google Keep on your phone. So head over the APKMirror link (non 64-bit device link) and download and install the app to get started.

Know Your Notes

The updated bar at the bottom of the Keep app now has a Pen icon, indicating the place which you need to tap to get doodling. If you instead just try to create a new note, you will have completely bypassed the section to create images.

Screenshot 2015 10 29 18 31 25

Once you’re in the right section, you get a standard pen, an artistic pen and a highlighter. On the left is a selection tool, which will help you select a certain part of what you’ve doodled and resize it if you want. Just tap the option on the bottom left and make the selection, then use two fingers to pinch in to make the selected doodle smaller or pinch out to make it bigger.

You can also move the selected area around and place it in a different corner if you so wish.

Screenshot 2015 10 29 19 14 47  Screenshot 2015 10 29 19 15 00

Please Note: Flipping the selected portion in various angles does not work, not in this version at least.

It works like a charm and the pen tools are pretty self-explanatory. The eraser tool is very effective too and you can swipe your finger across to erase the parts you don’t need.

Screenshot 2015 10 29 19 14 14 E1446133265562

Long press on the icon and you get the option to CLEAR CANVAS as well.

More Accurate with the S Pen

I tested the app out with the Galaxy Note5 and it was a marked improvement to use the S Pen to draw and doodle in general. Both the pens offer more control, and if you press harder the lines look thicker. The entire experience was quite natural and easy.

Screenshot 2015 10 29 16 37 17

Both the standard and the artistic pen work a lot better, not only because fingers are thicker, but also the S Pen feels a lot like using a regular pen. Which is what we’re used to unless you’ve never used a pen in your life.

Screenshot 2015 10 29 16 38 41

Of course, the eraser function is where you’d ideally want to use your fingers. Especially if they are nice and fat (like mine), you can easily erase entire sections cleanly.

Minimalist or Extensive?

I quite like Keep and how it’s quick and easy to take down notes and even make lists. As a minimalist note-taking app, it is really good and serves my need just fine. If you think there are better alternatives, then do let us know in our forums.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

Also See
#google apps #note5

Join the newsletter

Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.