Google has released a new app called Allo, which is a text-based messaging app that features Google Search integration and Smart Reply–so you can respond to messages without typing a single word. Smart Reply learns over time and will show suggestions that it thinks is your style. Essentially, Allo is Google’s answer to Facebook’s Messenger and is meant to compete with other similar apps, such as WhatsApp. Though, where Allo differs from WhatsApp is that it doesn’t feature end-to-end encryption unless users opt to use it in Incognito mode.
According to the official Google Blog, “Allo also features the Google assistant, bringing the richness of Google directly into your chats—helping you find information, get things done, and have fun. You can chat one-on-one with the assistant, or call on Google in a group chat with friends. Either way, you no longer have to jump between apps to do things like book a dinner reservation with friends, get up-to-date sports scores, settle a bet or play a game. The assistant in Allo lets you bring things like Search, Maps, YouTube and Translate to all your conversations so that you and your friends can use Google together.
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 it’ll understand what you’re saying. For example, “Is my flight delayed?” will return information about your flight status.”
Google is poised to crush their competition with this app if for no other reason than it has the full power of its dominating search engine built in. That’s good news for businesses that have invested in SEO for their websites because it means that users will now be able to find the same results they would get from typing into a Google search box and users will get curated results delivered to them within the app. Allo’s WhisperShout technology allows users to send photos they can doodle on or enlarge and shrink text using their fingers.
Google says they will continue to work on iterations before adding more features, but admit they have to work fast to keep up with other messaging apps that already have over a billion users. The app will be available later this summer for free on both iOS and Android.