After first announcing it earlier this year, Google has officially launched its Allo messaging app for iOS and Android that seeks to compete with current messaging leaders WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Google Allo is a messaging app that lets users customise text, find information, make quick replies, etc. all without ever having to leave the app.
The app comes with a Smart Reply feature that lets you respond to messages with a quick tap on pre-fed responses. The feature also suggests responses for photos. It is a self-learning feature that improves over time and adjusts to the way a user usually responds to certains texts.
Users can also customise emojis and text larger or smaller in size by dragging the 'send' button up or down. One can also scribble on photos before sending them. There are over 25 custom sticker packs in the app.
According to Google, all chats in Google Allo are encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS). Additionally, the company is also offering an 'Incognito mode' within Google Allo in which messages have end-to-end encryption and additional privacy features like discreet notifications and message expiration.
For those who aren't yet using Google Allo, the app allows users to chat with them via SMS or through app preview messages in Android.
What Google Allo is offering as a highlight is a preview edition of the Google Assistant. With Assistant in Allo, one can make a search directly in the chats. For example, one could simply type @google to bring Assistant in any group chat and make quick searches for travel destinations, flights, hotels, traffic, weather, and more.
In the coming months, the Assistant feature will be available on more Google products with support for more languages other than English.
Google Allo will begin rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks.