Google has finally released Allo, its new smart messaging app for iOS. Users can send smart replies, be artistic and entertaining by drawing on photos, use emojis and stickers, seek the help of Google Assistant via chat, go Incognito for secure conversations and more.
After Google Talk, Buzz, Wave, Hangouts and much more, this is Google’s latest attempt at a communication app. Allo competes with other current commonly used messaging apps like WhatsApp by offering modern innovative features. It is also Google’s first messaging app that is mobile only.
Here’s a quick round-up of what’s available in Allo:
Google Assistant: Unlike any other messaging service, Allo integrates Google Assistant in chats to look up movie timings, book tickets, make reservations, search for information or videos, and much more. The AI is provided to save time and end the inconvenience of closing chat to find information.
Smart replies: Allo provides smart suggestions for replies to messages. Similar to the functionality of Quick Type suggestions in iMessage, users can easily and quickly compose messages by tapping on suitable suggestions.
Emoji and effects: users can adjust the size of different emojis by dragging the send button up and down. Another feature similar to iOS 10 iMessage is the ‘Shout or whisper’ feature. With a quick swipe, users can put emphasis on certain message by making them louder or melo-down the tone by making them softer.
Customized stickers: Besides the regularly used emoji, users can pick specially designed stickers from a variety of 25 available sticker packs to make their messages expressive, and entertaining.
Draw on attached media: Users can draw on shared photos, screen shots, or videos. Pictures or videos can be shared from the Photos app or new ones can be taken using the in-app camera.
Incognito mode: Google provides a secure chatting feature called incognito mode. Once enabled, the special mode provides end-to-end encryption, sends private notifications to keep chats discreet, and sets an expiry time for messages. However, these privacy features are not applicable to chats in normal mode so this is a major concern to use Allo. End-to-end encryption is available by default in apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and even Apple’s own iMessage. Even Google’s Duo app, which is a FaceTime competitor, provides end-to-end encryption so keep this in mind before switching to Allo.
Google Allo is available in the App Store for free and requires iOS 9.1 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.