Few months before, a new real-time communication app named Allo
was launched by Google. Google’s Allo, while has a clean and extremely easy to use interface, much like WhatsApp, it does have some of new features and add-ons.
Allo directly competes with the currently dominating WhatsApp, an app Messenger owned by Facebook, in the messaging apps market.
Will Allo be able to break the pack and stand out in such a cluttered market?
Let’s try to figure out!!
Features of Google Allo:
· Allo is available on both the Android and iOS platforms.
· It isn’t necessary to sign in from a Google account like Google’s other apps. You need only a verifiable phone number with yourself and you will be using the app in seconds.
· It have a basic interface. Your contacts who are already registered on the app, you can chat with them in a dedicated screen, or you can create a group.
The list doesn’t finishes here, Allo also has some new features integrated into the app.
1. Google Assistant
Allo has a more refined and personalized version of Google Now. As Facebook possesses chatbots and Apple have Siri, you can talk with Google bot, and ask questions from and even make it perform simple tasks.
You can talk with Google bot in two ways: Either you can simply type @google in any conversation window or you can use the dedicated chat screen and ask Google anything.
As an example, imagine you were on a chat with a friend planning about to go out on a hill station. Instead of going to Google Search to book an accommodation in a hotel, you can simply type “@google make hotel reservations” and Google will show you options to book hotel for that hill station.
2. Smart Replies
Smart Replies, a feature in Allo app will automatically suggests you replies and responses based on the messages you receive. These aren’t just pre-programmed lines like ‘I am good’ and ‘ok bye’.
Advanced machine learning algorithms have been used by the Google to learn the most common replies, the suggestions are personalized and quite similar to ones you would have actually used.
For example, someone asks you ‘What’s up?’ you generally reply ‘Nothing much’, and someone else replies ‘Idling around, WBU?’ In some time, Allo will learn these common replies and suggest you smart replies when a similar question/message comes up.
These smart replies aren’t just limited to English. You will get such suggestions in any language you use.
3. Whisper and Shout
Many of us blame text messaging as it couldn’t convey emotions and the messages may be misunderstood.
Well, Google takes a step forward for those complainers. When you have typed your message, you can simply drag the send button up and down that will enlarge and shrink your message, so as to give an expression of either shouting or whispering.
4. Incognito Mode
As Chrome has the Incognito Mode, where you can browse without registering anything in the browser’s history, there is an Incognito Mode in Allo where you can talk to your contact list persons with the messages expiring after a fixed time.
You can’t save these texts as screenshot and as these are encrypted messages, the recipient can neither do that.
The Incognito Mode Chatting will also restrict Google’s access to your texts and the learning algorithm completely ignores the messages when Incognito. So as, recommendations or suggestions provided to you won’t save the actions performed while in Incognito Mode.
5. Other Noteworthy Features
Allo also has some minor tweaks to features that we are already using in other apps to make things more convenient.
You can edit your pictures With Allo, before sending them, directly in the app such as scribbling and drawing things.
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Allo has some limitations.
As WhatsApp users prefer multi-platform messaging, it may be a losing situation for Google Allo in making the app only compatible with smart phones rather than integrating it across all platforms.
Also, the app cannot send text messages. It can allow you to send a link to install Allo to you contacts. These drawbacks make Allo lag behind when compared to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage which currently have a firm grasp on the market.
It looks like a confusion in Google’s communication services department further adds to their woes.
Their complete communication services now include 4 apps:
· Hangouts for messaging your Google contacts.
· Google Messenger for sending texts to a phone number.
· Allo for messaging someone in your phone book.
· Duo for video/audio calling.
The revolutionary features provided by Allo, are good with doubt. The more personalized Assistant, the smart replies are worthy, and we have to be fair when we are talking about Google. Allo does a wonderful job when integrated with Google that can tap into the huge pool of data available.
But for now, I still don’t see as many contacts on Allo as there are on my WhatsApp list.
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