Google has introduced two new apps called Allo and Duo for Android and iOS. Allo and Duo will take on apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Viber, IMO, and many more. To make a mark in this congested market, Google has integrated a few key features that separate these two apps from the lot.
Allo is essentially an instant messaging app that makes conversations easier, more productive, and more expressive with features like Smart Reply and Google Assistant integration to make it stand out better. Smart Reply is a feature that gives you suggestions of replies while texting, and was first seen in Inbox by Gmail. It uses artificial intelligence to read your texting patterns and then pops suggestions accordingly. For example, it gathers over time whether you are a ‘Hey’ or a ‘Hello’ person, and suggests replies on top of the text bar. It also reads the images that are sent on the app, and suggests replies to that as well.
Allo also includes Google Assistant integration that brings search into the app. Users will be able to search hotels, flights, theaters and events all from one app without having to leave the conversation. It brings in tools like Maps, YouTube, and even Translate. The chat app has other unique features like Whisper Shout – the ability to increase the size of the text and Ink – write on pictures before sending them on Allo. It also has a wide range of Stickers designed by independent artists and studios from around the world. For privacy & security it has Incognito Mode where users can chat privately with end-to-end encryption. Control how long your messages stick around with expiring chats. Use private notifications to hide your chats from shoulder surfers.
Coming to Duo, Google’s new video calling app is here to take on FaceTime, Skype, Viber, and others. It’s a fairly simple app, and lets you call all your contacts on your phone (as long as they have the app installed). One of the biggest highlight is possibly Google claiming that it works evens on low networks.
Duo calls are in HD, however if the network is spotty, Google claims that the app adjusts the quality to keep the video call seamless. The app has a feature called Knock Knock which basically shows you a preview video of the caller, before picking it up. So instead of just the name, the video of the caller is also played at the back. Once the user picks up the call, the audio gets turned on, and the two parties can then converse easily. Keeping the issue of privacy and security in mind, it supports end-to-end encryption.
Google says that both of these apps are coming to Android and iOS this summer, with no specific date announced.