"Google Allo" - A Smarter messaging app
Google has unveiled a brand new smarter messaging app this week. Guys, say hello to "Allo". I think the name - "Allo" perfectly suits for a chat application. It helps you to connect and chat with your friends, family and express yourself better with smileys, huge emojis, stickers, and doodles etc., just like the way you do in WhatsApp and other popular messengers. Allo allows you to connect with your Gmail account by default, so it is absolutely easy to find and connect with other Gmail contacts. Even if you configured Allo with a new phone number, your friends still can easily find and connect with you, if they are already in your contact list in Gmail.
Install and configure Google Allo
Google Allo is available in Google Play for Android devices and App Store for iOS. Once installed, launch it. You will be asked to enter your mobile number. Make sure the mobile number you have entered can able to receive SMS. Google will send you a confirmation code to the registered mobile. Just enter the code to activate Allo in your Android or iOS device.
At first launch, you'll be landed to the Google Assistant page.
You can ask it if you have any questions. It will answer or display the results instantly and accurately.
I have asked some random questions, and Google Assistant replied me instantly with relevant links.
Here is a chat conversation with me and my friend in Allo messenger.
The look and interface is very similar to WhatsApp, except the color and theme.
Integrated personal 'Google Assistant'
This is one of the important feature of Allo. Allo comes with "Google Assistant" preview edition. Just type "@google" anytime in your conversation, the Google Assistant will show up and answer your questions. You don't have to leave the conversation. You can call it up at any time in the middle of any conversation. It is a nice feature for newbies to know more about what is allo, what it can do for you. It will do countless tasks for you, such as make plans, schedule meetings, fix appointments, check mails, book flights, know weather conditions, share youtube videos, get directions and much more. In short, Google Assistant will work like a virtual personal assistant and act as a mini "Google search" as well.
Let us have some fun with Google Assistant. I am going to ask the current weather of my place.
Let me to ask about the flight time to Chennai and Bangalore.
Like I said, Google Assistant is really good at answering the questions. I don't have to search anything on Google search. Google Assistant did everything in seconds. Integrating Google Assistant in a chat app is really smart move by Google. We can also make plans, arrange meetings, ask questions together without leaving the conversation.
This one is really cool guys!! Allo makes your conversation better and smarter with suggested replies, smileys, and emojis. Allo is smart enough to understand your conversation and suggests you some smart replies like "Ok", "Thanks", "LOL", "haha" etc., while you are chatting with your friends. Say for example, you're asking your friend "have you read this book"?. Allo will immediately display some suggested replies like "Yes" or "No". You don't have to type anything, just tap on the suggested replies to send them. If your friend sends a nice photo, you might see some Smart Reply suggestions like “aww cute!”, "so cute", "awesome" etc. Really smart, right? of course it is!! As of now, this feature is available only for English language.
Let me show you how it works. I am going to ask Google Assistant to show today's news. It immediately displayed the result. Not just results, it displayed the some suggestions like whether it should send the news everyday by asking Yes or No. I simply tapped on Yes, again it asked me at what time I wanted to see the news. I don't have to type the time. It showed me the smart replies on the bottom. I simply tap a time of my choice.
This is really cool. I have never seen this feature before in any apps.
Better Emojis and sticker collection
Not everyone likes to send just plain texts, right? Some of you want to express yourself with some cool stickers, and emojis? No worries! Allo comes with 25 different set of sticker collection. You can even make the texts and emojis larger or smaller by dragging the “send” button up or down. Also, you can make your own photos by scribbling on them.
Incognito chat mode
All chats are encrypted in Allo. But, Google take it one step ahead. Like Google Chrome, Allo introduces chat in "Incognito" mode. In this mode, all messages have end-to-end-encryption, and also it allows you to start an expiry chat, so you can define the messages to disappear after a particular period of time. The default period is one hour, but you can change it to any period of your choice if you want to. Incognito mode doesn't allow you to preview messages, or it display any notifications. Even Google can't see the conversation, so Google Assistant and smart reply features will not be available in this mode.
To start an incognito chat, click the Chat icon in the main interface.
Tap on 'Start incognito chat' option.
Select the contacts you want to do private chat, and start chatting!
Please note that Google Assistant and Smart reply features will not be available in Incognito chat. And, your conversation will not available after a particular period of time. By default, the chat conversation is available for an hour. You can define your own time.
What others think about this app?
I have asked about this app to my friends. I got both positive and negative feedback.
Let us see how far it goes. What about my opinion? I like this app, especially the 'Google Assistant' and 'smart reply' features. If you like this app, click the following links to install Allo on your Android or iOS devices.
What's your thoughts about this app? Do you think it is just another messaging app? Or is it going to be big competitor for WhatsApp and other popular messengers? WhatsApp is the undisputed king of chat messengers right now. Do you think Allo will take that place? Let us know about your experience with "Allo" in the comment section below.