One of the best things about Android 7.1 Nougat is app shortcuts via the new Shortcuts API that is baked into the software, and Google Keep's latest version is taking advantage of this by introducing the ability to utilize them from the homescreen app icon. If you place Google Keep on the homescreen in the first place, of course. Aside from the new app shortcuts, Google Keep is also gaining some other changes, such as the ability to pin notes. This can be especially useful if you often have to go back to a specific note or notes time and time again.
If you're asking yourself why you might want to use pinned notes, the answer to that is simple. Putting a pin in a note takes that note to the very top of the list, and if you have a lot of notes in the app, then alleviating any need to have to scroll through the list of them should be an especially useful trait indeed. This becomes even more useful given the fact that Google Keep organizes your notes with the newest entries from top to bottom, meaning older notes that you generally keep around and go back to are further down the list. With pinned notes, no more.
As for the app shortcuts, you'll need a phone that's running on Android 7.1 Nougat to take advantage of them, which at this point is only the Pixel and Pixel XL officially. However, Google did just release the Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview, which means the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C tablet (the currently compatible devices) should be able to check these new Google Keep shortcuts out too. With the shortcuts in place, if you have the Google Keep icon on your homescreen, simply long press on the icon to bring up the list of shortcuts for the app, which includes the ability to quickly create a new note, a new list, a new photo note, or a new audio note. In the presence of saving time, this is going to be a wonderful addition to the app if you need to create a quick note on the fly.