Oct 3, 2016

Google is once again trying to be in every facet of your everyday life. From email to calendars, the Internet giant has become a staple for many lives. Now, they are revamping their instant messaging application game with the new Allo Chat that features some pretty clever artificial intelligence.

Your Own Personal Assistant

What sets apart this new messaging application from others is that Google is equipping it with a Google Assistant that can recommend places to grab lunch, update you on how your favorite team is doing and even find out where you are (in case you’re lost). You can add the capable assistant to any group you are in with friends by simply adding @google to the message. Though it’s important to note, much like a needy puppy, it may also interject whenever it feels like it.

                                                                             Image Source: wsj.com

Streamlined Conversations

Allo has a very interesting feature that allows users to partake in a more streamlined version of conversation. The app will give users options to quickly respond to friends. If someone asks: How are you today? Allo will give you three prompts to choose from that can be automatically sent in response. This can lead to two friends having an entire conversation… without really having to say anything at all. The recommendations are generally positive and can be seen through a very impressive feature that can recognize smiles and skylines. If your friend sends you a photo of them cheerfully smiling through the messaging app, Allo analyzes it and gives you suggestions on what to reply.

Whisper And Shout

Recently, Apple released iOS 10 alongside its new iPhone 7 that has a great focusing on messaging. In the new iMessage, users can send messages that will give readers the feeling of shouts or whispers. Google Allo refused to be left behind, so they incorporated this feature, as well as “stickers that have been popping up in Facebooks messaging system, Snapchat and now iMessage. Users can also draw on photos reminiscent of Snapchat’s classic feature that is now being seen on Instagram as well.
Allo can be downloaded on iOS as well as Android but can only be used on mobile devices where as Facebook’s messaging service and Apple’s iMessage can continue the conversation through desktops.

Pressing Forward With Privacy

Encryption is a hot-button issue in today’s technological world that will become more and more prevalent. Allo allows users to enable an Incognito Mode that encrypts all chats from start to finish. You may also set your preferences with a feature that will delete messages sent within a certain window of time. Criticism has been swift as Apple’s iMessage automatically enables a similar feature when the user is first starting the program. At the announcement of the application, Google stated it would not store any conversations recorded on the application. But, Google has since retracted that and any conversations can be used for the company’s advertising business model and can be subjected to police warrants much like a Gmail account.

                                                                                  Image Source: seattletimes.com

The purpose of Allo is to make conversations move more quickly by allowing the user to remain inside the application to find restaurants or recommendations. Google is using its incredibly powerful search engine to get the results users want. One issue with the newly created application is that there is not much integration with other Google services that many regularly use. For example, Google Maps cannot be used with the service or the ever-popular calendar service. It is only a matter of time before Google begins to add these crucial services to survive in the mobile messaging game.
Survival is what Google must aim for now with so many other messaging applications currently available. Both Facebook and Whatsapp see over a billion users each month and Snapchat is now seeing over a 100 million active daily users. Googles new messaging service is still in the early days of testing and has potential to have very impressive artificial intelligence that will move conversations forward quickly and flawlessly. As for now, people will stick to what they know best and more importantly, which of their contacts are using the applications. In order for any of these services to thrive, they must retain current users while continuing to attract a larger following.

What separates Google Allo from the rest is the Assistant feature that is sure to become more and more prominent as the application grows. Google is set on being a “one stop shop” for messaging. Eventually, we can expect to see much more than just messaging from entire lunch plans to meetings being created directly through the messaging application. They are creating a faster version of conversation that sure to continue at its growth rate thanks to their already impressive artificial intelligence advancements. These features aren’t seen in other apps, and Google isn’t shy about pointing that out. They are constantly rolling out new technology and updating features that are undeniably better than other competitors. Streamlining conversations in an already fast paced world may seem like a herculean task, but if there is one company to spearhead it’s Google – and the Allo chat app is just one step in the right direction.


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