TechWire

Allo : Google’s New Messaging App

Are you satisfied with the existing messaging apps? Do you need a new messaging app with new features? What if you got a messaging app with an AI? Yes! There is a new messaging app called “Allo”.

Allo is the latest messaging app introduced by Google which has used Google Assistant as its main functionality. In other words Google Assistant which is a Google product that aims to take on Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alex, is used in Allo in order to make the app more effective. But I have to say that this is not completely built with an AI. This is not to replace Google’s other messaging apps such as ‘Hangouts’ or ‘ProjectFi’, and also this is not derived from Google’s Hangout or Messenger. It is built from the scratch. This is just a fresh start for Google’s new communication methodologies.

Features

  • Allo is bound to the mobile phone number, just like WhatsApp.
  • It’s simple as the other messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger, but with a little more innovation.
  • The most revolutionary feature is the Google assistant. It allows grabbing information from Google by setting up a conversation with Google assistant.
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  • It can be integrated with third-party ChatBots which uses Google’s services. In other words, we can use Google Assistant inside another conversation. When you use “@google” inside another chat, it will display search results from the Google.
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  • Another good feature is “suggestion chips”. Google AI is used for this smart reply feature.
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  • There is a huge collection of stickers, emoji, sent/received indicators.
  • You can send photos with your own doodles.
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  • If you want to send messages with larger or smaller fonts, you can swipe your finger up and down on the send button. It is known as “WhisperShout”.
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  • Within the conversation in Google Allo, if you came across a wrong suggestion, then you can provide your feedback using thumbs up/down icons.
  • You can message through Allo even if the receiver doesn’t have it installed on his/her phone. When you try to send a message to such type of a recipient, he/she will receive a usual text message. There you may not able to exchange MMS components, stickers according to the nature of the messaging app the recipient using.

Privacy

  • All the messages are encrypted in Allo and no one in-between can read them. Google servers read them, but they assure that the chat logs are not kept at Google and the identities are not stored.
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  • If you are not willing to let Google servers to read your conversations, then you can chat via Incognito Mode which is same as Google Chrome’s. In the Incognito Mode, conversation will be encrypted end-to-end. Even Google can’t read your messages when you’re on Incognito Mode. Hence Google Assistant’s smart reply feature will be deactivated.
  • You can set expiration time for the conversation you made via incognito mood.
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  • You can set the time to delete messages in your device and also in your receiver’s device.
  • You may have noticed that other messaging apps have the ability to make audio and video calls. But Allo doesn’t have that feature yet. For that intent, Google has another new app called “Duo”.

Currently smart reply feature is working only for English. But Google developers hope to extend it to other languages in future.
With all these new features Google has introduced with Allo, this will be a huge step for Google, and a strong benchmark for other competitive apps.

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Nimasha Jayathunga

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