Say hello to Google's Allo

It’s a new messaging app with a virtual assistant built-in…
by
Say hello to Google's Allo

At Google’s annual I/O conference in California earlier this week, a new messaging app was unveiled. It’s called Google Allo, and it’ll be available on iOS and Android devices this summer.

When you get Allo (you can pre-register for it on Google Play at the moment) you’ll be asked to sign up with your phone number and link to your Google account. Then you’ll be ready to get to grips with Allo’s impressive features…

Expressions

Allo’s new version of emojis are called ‘Expressions’, and it’s got a few interesting sounding features to make your messages stand out. For example, you can slide your finger up or down to enlarge or shrink your text - this gesture is called ‘WhisperShout’.

You can also send photos and doodle over them, just like you can on Snapchat.

Google Assistant

Allo is powered by Google Assistant, a new chatbot and virtual assistant that promises to be an upgraded version of Google Now.

You can call it up by typing “@google”, then ask it questions and get things done without having to leave Allo. You’ll be able to book restaurants, check your calendar, get weather updates, use Google Maps or YouTube… anything and everything, really.

Suggestion chips

When you get a message from a friend, Allo will provide you some suggested replies (called ‘suggestion chips’) that work in a similar way to Smart Reply in Gmail. These suggestion chips are powered by an incredibly smart machine-learning engine, so prepare to be impressed.

If you get sent a photo of your friend’s graduation, for example, Google will easily recognise this momentous occasion and suggest replies like "Congratulations!" or "You look great!" The more you use your suggestions chips, the better your suggested responses become. And they can also include emojis and stickers.

Going incognito

If you’re after a bit of extra privacy, Allo has an incognito mode. When you enable it, your conversation is encrypted end-to-end and Google can't read it at all. If you delete an incognito conversation, it's gone forever. Plus, the contents of your incognito chats won’t show up on your lock screen notifications.

Going incognito means you won't be able to use Google Assistant, but if a higher level of privacy is your top priority, you might find it a useful feature.

Like we said earlier, you’ll be able to get Allo on your iOS or Android device this summer. We’ll do a full review when it launches.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
The Pixel and Pixel XL are Google’s first ever smartphones. Let's take a look at what makes these de
Google Photos gives you free, unlimited cloud storage for your precious photos and videos, and an aw
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand. We've rounded up th

11 January, 2019
From bendy phones to 5G networks, here’s our roundup of the biggest smartphone announcements...
22 November, 2018
Our biggest Black Tag event ever is now heading into Black Friday, where you can...
8 November, 2018
After years of rumours, Samsung has unveiled its first ever mobile phone at a conference...
29 October, 2018
OnePlus has unveiled its latest amazing new phone. Say hello to the OnePlus 6T. It's...
11 October, 2018
Samsung has just unveiled the world's first quad camera phone. It has an incredible...
10 October, 2018
Samsung has been showing off its new Galaxy range at an event in London. Here's a...
9 October, 2018
Google has officially launched its new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones....
5 October, 2018
Nokia has just unveiled its latest smartphone - the Nokia 7.1. It's a great looking...
21 September, 2018
Bill capping is here to take away those nasty surprises, and in this article, we’ll...
12 September, 2018
The waiting is finally over, and Apple’s latest smartphones – the iPhone XS, iPhone...
3 September, 2018
We’ve always been taught to judge a camera phone by how many megapixels it has. But...
30 August, 2018
Honor has finally launched the Honor Play smartphone in Europe. It's a powerful phone...