Google releases Allo messaging app

Google announced two new products, Duo and Allo, during its I/O developer conference earlier this year. Duo the video chat app was released about a month ago and Allo has been released today, after weeks of rumored release dates.

Allo, the new messaging app, is different from Hangouts or anything previously launched by Google. Allo is integrated with Googles top of the line machine learning technology and Google Assistant. Allo and Duo are going to replace Hangouts, which offered both messaging and video calling. According to Google Hangouts is set to become an enterprise solution while Allo and Duo are focused as consumer products.
Allo Emoji.jpgBoth the apps are simple and straightforward. However, Allo has a lot more to offer than Duo. The messaging app has quite a bit of new features. Users are able to make text appear bigger or smaller when pressing and holding the send button then dragging up or down. Users also have more than two dozen sticker packs available to use during chats, which come in a range of styles and they’re all free. Users can share images and are able to draw on them, share your location, and dictate text.

TAllo Lunch.jpghe biggest feature is the integration of Google’s machine learning and Google Assistant, which is still in preview. With Google Assistant you can chat with it as you would anyone else or you can use the @google command to ask a question. You can use this feature during chats with others. It will allow you to get weather information, nearby restaurants, quick info, and a host of other things such as setting timers, alarms, and reminders.

 

allo-messagingPersonally one of my favorite features is smart replies. Smart replies offer suggestions for users to reply with instead of typing or swiping the word out. This works even for photos.

Allo also comes with an incognito mode that enables end-to-end encryption for chats. Users also get features such as discreet notifications and the ability to auto delete messages.

Allo does seem to be off to a good start, however, the Assistant is still in preview. Therefore we have yet to see what it can truly offer. Still Allo seems like a good replacement for Hangouts though it will have tough competition against Facebook Messenger and Whats App.

The app is available on both Android and iOS.

UnifyID changing how users access services using new authentication system

UnifyID is working on a new way to protect yourself from hackers. At TechCrunch Disrupt SF Battlefield competition, the company demonstrated a unique way that people can protect themselves in the future.

Co-Founder Kurt Somerville stated that modern approaches use a system of secrets and once those are revealed users can get into the service. This standard may not be perfectly secure and thus they have created a better way through implicit authentication.

UnifyID uses machine learning to understand individual users using multiple devices and tracking where you go, how you walk, how you type, and more using sensors that interact with users throughout the day. Once a profile has been built around users habits the software is able to compute a score based on the chances its you trying to login to a specific service or product.

They demonstrated this approach by showing a user grabbing another users phone, walking with it and then trying to logon to a service, however being unable to logon because of the difference in the way the two users walk.

The company has released the product in a private beta this week in the form of a chrome browser extension with an iOS mobile app, with the Android app coming in the future. Once the browser extension and the mobile app are installed it beings to learn about the user. Once it knows you, users can go to a service such as a website and no longer have to input a username and password, it logs the user in using the Unify ID. If it is not sure that the correct user is trying to log on it will send a challenge question to the correct users phone for authentication.

UnifyID gives users control over their data by encrypting most of it on the local device.

Other companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple are also working on new ways for users to authenticate themselves to access products and services. In the future users might not have to input usernames and passwords.