The much awaited Google Allo App has started rolling out and its every bit as good as it was destined to be. Google has put a lot of its might and expertise behind this simple messaging app and that’s what makes it special.
A messaging app is no good if you can’t convince your friends to use it, as was the case with Google Hangouts (and numerous others), but Google Allo has a real change of breaking through. Here is why.
The first and foremost has to be the new Google Assistant.
The Google Assistant leverages the heaps of knowledge Google Baba has assimilated over the decades. The AI bot keeps prying on your conversations and can lend meaningful and relevant suggestions without you having to ask for them.
So you don’t have to leave the chat window to look up stuff on the internet. Just type @google and ask it to fetch whatever you need.
After trying it for a while, we believe that Google Assistant is still a work in progress. It’s still in preliminary stages and will only mature with time.
Send messages to users who don’t have the app
The thing with chat messaging apps is, that you can’t use them even if you want to if your friends don’t want to switch.
To work around this major hurdle, Google takes advantage of its dominant position.
You can use Allo to send messages to anyone using Android, even when they don’t have the app installed. Your friends will get a notification via Google Play Services (which are on almost all Android phones) and can directly reply to your message from the notification itself.
This is indeed the Ace Google has up its sleeves that will definitely help Allo spread across the vast Android user base.
Another thing Google Allo does well is predict responses (and it works in Hindi too). You might go on chatting for minutes without having to type a single letter (which is both a good thing and a bad thing).
Efforts Google has put in over the last few years to enhance its natural language understanding, and the colossal amount of conversations it has been absorbing, help accomplish this. Which also means that this isn’t something that other Chat Apps can efficaciously replicate.
Also, Allo will analyze your responses over time and tune in its predictions accordingly. The app also predicts emojis.
Some unique chat options
But, how well does it fair as a messaging app? We would say it’s a great start.
Interesting messaging features include an Incognito mode, where messages are encrypted and self-destruct after a period of time; ability to enlarge or reduce the size of text by sliding up and down on the send button; doodle on pictures that you share (on Android).
Google Allo is still in nascent stages of development, but it’s still deft at what it does. We would have liked SMS integration within the App and a desktop client too, but perhaps it wants to tread a slow and steady path this time rather than being overly imposing. There is a lot of scope here and Google might finally get the break it has been hankering for.