Google launched “Google Allo,” a smart messaging app for Android that offers a slew of new features that are still unavailable in other messaging apps.
Currently, Allo is available in English only, but we can soon expect it to get launched in other languages too. It was launched on 20th Sep, 2016 with a preview edition.
It may be a good idea to explore the app’s features already, just download it from the Google Play Store, and I assure you that your chats are going to get easier than ever.
Features That Make Allo Standout from the Rest
Suggestions or Smart Reply
Shout and Whisper Options
Google Incognito Mode
Let’s find out a little more about how these features work.
Allo basically uses our Google account with other information like phone number, name, etc.
Suggestions or Smart Reply
This feature is smart as its name suggests. It allows us to reply without really typing; it provides us with the prompts about what to reply as a suggestion in the form of “text” or “emojis.” These suggestions are customized according to the personality of the user; basically Allo observes and learns the kind of conversation one does usually.
You “tap” instead of “typing out” the messages in a chat. Allo gives up to three suggestions every time. This feature makes chatting feel like a breeze. Allo keeps on constantly learning from the words we often use and refines them accordingly to give us suggestions.
This is what makes our replies “smart” with Allo.
Let us better understand with the help of the following image.
In this screenshot (at the bottom) we can see how Allo gives us suggestions for our chats. All we need to do is tap on any of the prompts for a truly smart reply.
Shout and Whisper Option
This very awesome feature may well be the defining feature of Allo. It adds more meaning to our words by increasing or decreasing the size of text. We need to simply press and hold the send button and accordingly slide up for a “shout” (the size of the text is increased) or slide down for a “whisper” (the size of the text is decreased).
With this feature, Allo allows us to express our feelings without using the regular fair of stickers or images; it helps display the mood or tone of a conversation in a completely new avatar.
Let’s see the screenshot below to see how this feature works.
Here, we can see the send button slides up and down and the text size is changed accordingly.
Though this feature is present in many messaging apps but in Allo we can choose from many amazing stickers and their categories. We can select the stickers option by pressing the “+” button on the left hand side. This gives us 5 options. The second last one is the option for stickers, you can simply select any one and again reply without typing.
Stickers similarly also help show what a user is feeling currently.
Allo also gives us an “animated stickers” category. There are over 25 custom sticker packs, simply download them and start using them. Besides, the animated stickers category also gives us the option to preview them before using them.
Given below is a sample of how we can reply with stickers.
At the bottom of the screenshot we can see that the stickers come from the highlighted second category.
An exciting feature that allows us to edit images before sending them. You can do this by simply selecting an image from the gallery or camera and editing it.
This feature can also be accessed by pressing the “+” button and then choosing the second option for camera or the third option for gallery to take an image.
Allo gives us two options after selecting an image, one is for that of a “pencil” and the other is for the “send” button. Select the pencil, draw something on your image, and hit the send button.
This option simply helps give additional meaning and character to the images that we choose to share with others. See the following image for how Google Doodle works.
This is another one of Allo’s revolutionary features. We have in fact never seen a feature like this in any of the other messaging apps. Allo allows us to ask the Google Assistant anything and it will reply perfectly and instantly.
This feature almost feels like that you may be interacting with a fellow human. We can talk with Google Assistant privately as well as between chatting with friends. You are even provided with suggestions about when to talk to the Assistant!
Refer to the screenshot below to see how you can talk with Google Assistant privately.
Here we can see how I just asked about the weather and instantly got an accurate reply, and when I select the “send me” daily suggestion, the Assistant even asked with me about the time when I wanted the weather report. We can also active or cancel this subscription, it all depends on us.
If we want to use the Assistant in a friend’s chat, then simply press the “@” button and select to activate it, this way we can ask anything at any time, like about nearby hospitals, restaurants, etc.
It almost becomes a third friend of sorts in our chats.
Refer to the following screenshot to get a clarity on the functionality of Google Assistant.
Here, we can see that the Assistant gives suggestions for nearby restaurants within the app itself. Unlike when chatting in other apps, in order to search for something we need to go to a search engine externally, but here we can conveniently carry out our searches within the app itself. This feature offered by Allo makes for an uninterrupted chatting experience.
Google Incognito Option
By using the incognito option we can chat with our friends privately, which means this way we can avoid an end-to-end encryption of our messaging. What’s more, our messages expire after a certain period of time that can also be set by us.
We can start the incognito mode in Allo like this.
Tap the “new chat option” and start the incognito chat . From the contact list we can select the person whom we want to chat with. Set the timer at the top . By default, it selects 1 hour (this can be changed by you).
Google Assistant saves all your messages, but in the incognito mode. It will store messages for a certain period of time and after which they expire from the server.
Google Allo, is a smart messaging app in every sense. It’s like Google gives us whatever we want. This app practically reads our mind!
With Allo, our chats have become easier, though some features are new for us, like Shout and Whisper and the Google Assistant. We also saw how the Assistant replies smartly and accurately, it learns the behavior of the users and gives suggestions accordingly.
Though this is just the beta version of the app, in the future we will get more updates and see other amazing features unravel. Allo is already gaining a lot of popularity among Android users.
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