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.
Both 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.
The 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.
Personally 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.