Google announced a new smart messaging app, Allo at Google I/O yesterday. The app is based on your phone number, and it will continue to learn from you over time, making it smarter each day. In addition, you can add more emotion to your messages, in ways that you couldn’t before. You will be able to “whisper” or “shout” your message, and the font size will change depending on which you select. This is accomplished by pressing the send button and dragging up or down to change the level of emotion.
You’ll also be able to draw on your photos before you send them with the Ink feature, add stickers and emoji and much more. Allo will also have Smart Reply built right in. You can use emoji in the Smart Reply, and it will also work when people send you pictures. For example, if you receive a picture of a dog, the replies that will pop up are related to the dog.
Google will be building its new Assistant feature right into Allo as well. The Google assistant in Allo understands your world, so you can ask for things like your agenda for the day, details of your flight and hotel, or photos from your last trip. And since it understands natural language patterns, you can just chat like yourself and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll understand what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re saying. For example, “Is my flight delayed?” will return information about your flight status.
You’ll be able to call on the Assistant at any time during a conversation by simply typing “@google” and then your query. For example, you can type “@google funny cat pics” and then get responses right in the chat. These chats can take place in group form, or one-on-one with just the Assistant.
Assistant can help you games as well. There is an emoji game that gives you various emoji and you have to pick what they translate into. Developers will be able to create and submit games that the Assistant can play with others.
Understanding that you don’t always want everything to be seen by everyone, Allo will also offer an Incognito mode like it does in Chrome. This provides end-to-end encryption, time-deleted messages and the ability to hide the sender and receiver details. As soon as you close the Incognito mode, everything that you did will disappear, like it never happened.
The end-to-end encryption will be powered by Open Whisper Systems Signal Protocol. Open Whisper state:
“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re excited to partner with Google on the private communication features of their new smart messaging app, Allo. We’ve been collaborating together on the integration of Signal Protocol into Allo, which will bring all of Signal Protocol’s strong encryption properties to Allo’s incognito mode.
We’ll provide more technical details and a summary of the integration when the app is available.”
Duo is a new one-to-one video calling app, and a companion to the Allo chat application.
With Duo, you can see a video feed of the person who’s calling you before you pick up, letting you see if it’s someone you know or not. When you swipe to answer, the call is connected right away, and the app is meant to work well even with low connection speeds. The interface will also fade away as you talk, letting you focus on your call.
Du is also cross-platform allowing video calls with all your friends across Android and iOS with just one simple app.
Duo uses QUIC for fast connections and monitors video quality every second, adjusting seamlessly when needed. The app will also switches easily between Wi-Fi and cellular connections.
Pre-register for Allo and Duo
Allo and Duo are set to launch later this summer for both Android and iOS but you can pre-register for both Android Apps now.