Google unveiled a new messaging app called Allo on Wednesday—and it’s not a replacement for Hangouts. However, Allo is a chat app designed to stand alone, and comes with a built in machine learning feature.
Explaining the idea behind the new chat app, Google’s engineering director Erik Kay said Allo is a smart app that “learns over time” to make chatting easier and more productive, reports Engadget.
Well I already have Facebook, WhatsApp and the likes—so what do I need another chat app for? Allo’s main feature is Google’s newly launched personal assistant, which is a standout feature to make chatting and learning easier. This feature makes learning and sourcing information very easy. You can set up conversation with @google and ask all sort of questions within Allo. The built in assistant will answer any question same way Google search does, but with a bit of difference—it will engage you in some sort of conversation to make search lively. @google will suggest further searches and provide you with more options that Google can do.
It gets even more interesting with the power of a Knowledge Graph—the built in personal assistant understands loads of “entities” and how each one relates with the other.
Not just about finding stuff
Google wants Allo to be different and unique from several other chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp—so it has gone a step further by making conversation more interesting. When a friend sends you a message on the app, Allo puts some suggested replies at the bottom. This feature, according to Dieter Bohn of The Verge, is called “suggestion chips” and is powered by Google’s smart learning engine.
Let’s not get too carried away talking about @google all day—despite being a very fascinating feature, Allo boasts of some more interesting features as well.
The new chat app has a feature called “Expressions,” which are basically amped-up versions of emojis and stickers you normally use in other chat apps. Kay explained how this feature works with a gesture called Whisper Shout. In his demonstration, sliding your finger down the app will lead to a small-text “whisper” while sliding it up will actuate a large-text “shout.”
Smart Reply is a feature that utilizes some of the abilities of the machined learning feature. It throws up a couple of suggestions/replies when certain questions are posed or asked during a conversation with a friend. It works by anticipating replies to questions asked during a conversation. It makes conversation easy and helps you with the right words when you are tad busy a couple of things in the office.
Game lovers are not left out of the fun
Google also took time to explain how game lovers can have fun by using Allo’s Google Assistant. “Emoji Games” is a game where a movie title is guessed based on a string of emojis.
Google is also adding the incognito mode that is already a part of its Chrome browser. In case you want a private chat on Allo, this feature secures your conversation. Incognito mode uses end-to-end encryption, private notifications and expiring chats.
Like WhatsApp, signing up for Allo requires your mobile number—and there is even an email option.
Allo will be released for both Android and iOS later in the summer.
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