This year at Google IO, Google made some really interesting announcements like Google’s video chat app “Duo” and an instant messenger “Google Allo” which has some integrated features dependent on AI (Artificial Intelligence). After Duo’s launch everyone was waiting for Allo to launch and here we are today with the app ready on Play Store.
This app is a direct competition to WhatsApp and iMessage on iOS and many more, but after I actually used it, Allo seemed very different to use compared to WhatsApp. It suggests you replies based on the other person has said and then you can tap that suggestion to send the reply
The app also adapts to the messages you send and remembers what you reply to which message so that in future you don’t need to type it
Well this is not the only feature which makes Allo different, here are a few of them
1. Whisper and Shout
You can drag the send icon (located at the right of the text box) up and down to increase the reply size to convey a Whisper or Shout
2. Doodling on Images
Though this feature may seem similar to latest WhatsApp Beta, but Allo has announced it way back at Google IO
3. Google Assistant:
This is by far the most interesting and highly Google services integrated feature I have ever seen. You can chat with Google like any other person and ask it to set a reminder, check emails, check some facts or literally anything you can ask to Google Now but in the format of chat.
It does almost everything from calculations, weather information, or tell you a joke, poem etc. It is basically a different way to interact with Google.
4. In-Chat Assistance:
While having a conversation, if you text your friend to go out for a movie or pizza, Allo has got you covered by in-chat suggestion for Movie showtimes or nearby restaurants.
You can try out on your own for all kind of things for assistance.
5. Incognito Mode and Auto Expiration Chats
If you are worried about anybody seeing your chats or you are a bit worried about Google knows and stores what you type, then try the Incognito mode in the app. As the name suggests your chat history wont be stored anywhere after the expiration time you set in the incognito mode.
This expiration time can be set from the top right button to a few seconds to a week.
The app has other stuffs like emoticons and stickers like Hike messenger and has all the features that a typical instant messenger should have.
What I Liked?
- Whisper and Shout feature is really cool, now I can shout on people without using caps all the time ;). Jokes apart this feature adds emotions to the text without emojis and stickers.
- AI Powered suggestions for automatic replies are a great if there is a direct question. The best part is it learns from your chatting habits and adds your replies for future situations. It saves a lot of typing done on the keyboard for me.
- Google Chat Assistant is very very smart indeed and can help for trivial information like facts and math and assists you to add reminder, set an alarm/timer, open an app and almost everything you want to do with your phone.
- In-Chat assistance is one of the most amazing features that I think I am actually going to use the most
- Incognito mode is great for people who are worried about Google might read their data or any other person might see any private chats
- User interface is clean and very simple
What I didn’t Like?
- There is no call feature given that the counterpart of Allo which is “DUO” allows only video calls but we cam expect an update for that.
- I was not able to see if the person is online or not, or last seen. I know these features are not wanted by every single person but this can add great usability and better app engagement.
- I could not send any other file format except Audio, Video, GIFs, this can also be done via an update.
This app is quite better than WhatsApp I must say, with some tight integration with Google Services. The minimalistic interface with intelligent algorithms Allo is what we expect an AI based chat application to do.
The app is mainly focused to make you more expressive without putting too much effort into typing the texts and get the things done inside the chat with Google’s assistance.
AI is quite new domain for this world and Google has made an entry at the right time. I do expect some crazy features to arrive as this is just the first version.
Having said that Allo has a huge competition to handle with players like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.
Download Google Allo from here
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