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

21 May, 2019
You’ve finally ditched the wire and now you’re wondering how to connect your new...
8 May, 2019
The Google Pixel 3a is giving you the best of Pixel at a fraction of the price. This...
14 May, 2019
For some of the best stories from Google’s I/O 2019 event plus some other exciting...
8 May, 2019
The Google Pixel 3a is giving you the best of Pixel at a fraction of the price. This...
14 May, 2019
For some of the best stories from Google’s I/O 2019 event plus some other exciting...

14 May, 2019
For some of the best stories from Google’s I/O 2019 event plus some other exciting...
7 May, 2019
Apple’s first game in over ten years revamps an old-school classic, retweets get...
1 May, 2019
Get a roundup of the top mobile news from the last week. From the latest iOS 12.3...
23 April, 2019
From a Fortnite mashup with Marvel to some timely password advice, here’s a roundup...
16 April, 2019
Facebook plans to fold Messenger back into the main app, plus Skype will start screensharing...
11 April, 2019
Samsung unveiled a range of five Galaxy A-series phones, which included the Galaxy...
9 April, 2019
Android Q is to feature the popular iPhone feature ‘3D Touch’ when it rolls out later...
5 April, 2019
Find out what the Huawei P30 camera can do - from taking night pictures to filming-fast...
2 April, 2019
A round-up of the latest tech news for mobile phones and accessories this week, from...
26 March, 2019
We’re at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, where Huawei is unveiling the Huawei...
25 March, 2019
All the latest mobile news this week, from rumours around Motorola’s new Android...
18 March, 2019
SXSW (South by Southwest) is a hub of the most exciting trends in the tech of tomorrow....