"Communication is an important part of our lives, and it is important to Google as well," Google strongly pointed out during a Google Allo demo in May. Now, the tech giant has already launched what can be the smartest messaging app on the market, branded as Allo. With the release of the app, people are eyeing on the success that it can take over the older messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Apple's recently improved iMessage.
Earlier this year, Google announced the existence of a new messaging app that is believed to rival the already popular messaging apps. Alongside the announcement of the app debut is the revelation of its best features. The company explained that the big difference that this new messaging app has over older apps is in its "smart" abilities as it makes a user's mobile device a "machine with a brain."
Users who already have the app on their devices are said to enjoy three different styles of chat in Allo. These were set by Google being normal messaging, direct conversations with the virtual assistant, and "incognito chats." These styles are end-to-end encrypted and they feature disappearing messages.
Allo also uses features that are present in other messaging apps where users can send images, videos, voice messages and a custom-designed selection of stickers to other mobile owners.
The in-app assistant called "@google" that is incorporated with Allo enables any iOS and Android device to reply to messages on its own, search the internet, play videos, and a lot more that users used to control in other messaging apps. It was also disclosed that the app is powered by Google's machine learning software, which allows the users' devices to learn how they talk in order to deliver more appropriate suggested responses over time. It is said to be intelligent enough that it can even determine whether a user is a "haha" or a "lol" kind of responder.
Apart from offering response suggestions, the app's artificial intelligence works as virtual assistant, which can be called to provide users answers pulled out from the internet regarding relevant directions, nearby restaurants, or up-to-minute information such as news stories. It can also embed a video on chat, and even collect flight information.
"Too often we have to hit pause on our conversations - whether it's to check the status of a flight or look up that new restaurant. So we created a messaging app that helps you keep your conversation going, by providing assistance when you need it," said Google.
More of the Allo app features were revealed and, unlike other messaging apps, Allo was designed to be more "available" since it does not require users to have a Google account for it to work like the FB Messenger or Hangout. On the other hand, users have an option to sign up to it with a mobile phone number -- a feature that makes it a bit more like WhatsApp and iMessage.
Another smart feature that Google explained is the image recognition software for Smart Reply. Allo app is said to accurately spot the difference between two objects then later suggest a response according to a user's "language" and the image that it detected. For instance, Allo types "aww, what a cute baby" for a received baby pic.
Google also admitted Allo is containing some of the playful features of Apple's new iMessage and Facebook's Messenger, where it allows users to scribble on pictures, send larger or smaller versions of text messages, and custom-designed stickers.
Google said that Allo is far from its first attempt at a messaging app. Other platforms are also moving towards smarter messaging, like Apple introducing third party apps for its recently released iMessage and Facebook launching bots for its Messenger. But according to tech-savvy users, neither of those is quite as useful as Google Allo.