It’s been long rumored that Google was looking to one up its own Messenger and Hangouts messaging apps. Well, Google did just that with a new messaging app called Allo.
The app is powered by Google’s newly announced AI bot Google Assistant and Google’s Knowledge Graph. Once you sign up with your phone number and link your Google account to the app, you’re ready to go.
Allo has got cutesy little features like easy-to-use volume control to “shout” messages (read as: make font bigger). But some of the “woah future” moments came with a demo of impressive image recognition built into the app. For example, when you send a picture of a dog, Allo will automatically populate possible responses because it recognizes that the image is of a dog. Like Smart Reply in Gmail, Allo practically does the messaging for you.
You can also message @google and launch all the powers of the Google search engine brain, powered by Google’s own Knowledge Graph. You can also make this robot text messaging a group experience, and maybe the coolest feature, Allo has its own “incognito” mode, which end-to-end encrypts your messages. It’s worth noting that encryption isn’t enabled by default.
Google didn’t definitively express that Allo is a replacement for Hangouts and Messenger. But with all these new genuinely exciting features, I’m not sure who would want to use the legacy apps.