10 Interesting Things You Must Know about Allo, Google's New Messaging App
Article by George Norman
On 21 Sep 2016
Google, seemingly unfazed by the fact that there are a ton of messaging apps out there, has just rolled out a new smart messaging app called Google Allo. Don’t confuse it with last month’s Google Duo. That’s a video calling app that does not support messaging.

Getting back to the topic at hand, here are 10 things you might want to know about Allo before you go give it a try.


1. Allo is a free app for Android and iOS

Does anyone charge for messaging apps anymore? Anyway, Google’s Allo smart messaging app is available for free for both Android and iOS.

2. Google unveiled Allo months ago

The first time we heard about Allo was back in May, at Google’s annual developer conference, I/O 2016. Google said that the time that Allo "makes your conversations easier and more expressive."

3. Allo has emoji and stickers (obviously)

Text alone is no longer enough. We need emojis and stickers to better express ourselves. No messaging app would be complete without them. So obviously, Allo provides easy access to a nice collection of emojis and stickers.

4. Allo lets you doodle

You can add text or draw on pictures before sharing them with your friends. But only if you’re on Android.

5. You don’t have to type to reply

Get a message -> type a reply. Get another text message -> type another reply. That’s how it goes with most messaging apps. Not with Allo though. This app has a Smart Reply feature that suggests text and emoji responses based on your personality. The more you use Allo, the better it understands your personality, and the more relevant the Smart Replies will be.

6. Allo makes it easier to shout (or whisper)

No matter what Pogue says, capitals do matter. How else are you going to let people know that you’re shouting? Allo’s found a way. Instead of using ALL CAPS, you can adjust the size of the text. Enlarge it to show that you’re shouting, shrink it to show that you’re whispering.

7. Allo intros the Google Assistant

With Allo, Google introduces the preview version of Google Assistant, the intelligent personal assistant that’s rumored to replace Google Now. You can use it to get directions, to find online videos, to bring up photos from your recent trip, to check when your flight leaves, and so on. You can chat with Google Assistant one-on-one and you can also bring it up while chatting with a friend.

8. Allo uses end-to-end encryption

Most messaging apps nowadays use end-to-end encryption to protect your chats from prying eyes. Allo does it too. But only when you enable Incognito Mode. Speaking of which...

9. You can set messages to expire

On top of using end-to-end encryption to protect your chats, Incognito Mode has one other interesting feature: it lets you put an expiration date on your chats.

10. Allo is based on your phone number

Just like Duo, Allo is based on your phone number. You don’t have to sign into your Google account to get started with the app. You just need to register your phone number.

Google has been released in the US today. It will be available worldwide in the next few days.

Tags: Google, Allo, app, Android, Google Play, iOS, Apple, App Store, messaging, IM, Google Assistant
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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