I think I’ve lost count of how many apps Google has released recently. It’s almost like they are throwing Spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. Today’s two bowls of Spaghetti are a smart messaging app called Allo, and a video calling app called Duo that reminds me of Apple’s FaceTime.

Google office

Christ. I haven’t tried it out yet, but Allo sounds like messaging on steroids. It’s got Smart Reply built in that lets you respond to messages without having to type anything. That is, it suggests a bunch of replies based on the content you’ve received. That is, if you get sent a picture of food, Allo will serve up (pun intended) replied like “Can I have some?” or “yummy”.

Smart replies

Smart replies

It also lets you scribble over photos, determine the render size of your image (so it seems like you’re whispering or shouting), send stickers and Emoji (like in Telegram) etc. They say it’ll determine over time if you’re a “haha” or a “lol” kind of person, and the longer you use Allo (which sounds like some pronunciation of Hello) the better it knows how you like to communicate.

The Whisper-Shout feature

The Whisper-Shout feature

Allo’s also connected to Google’s suite of apps so you can chat with Google assistant, translate conversations, use Maps, YouTube, Search etc. without having to leave the app. I absolutely can’t wait to try this one out, because it’s a mirroring of what we (I) think the future of messaging will be. Also has Incognito Mode as well, which enabled end-toned encryption and “discreet notifications”.


Chat with Google Assistant

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Duo is a one-to-one video calling app that seems a lot like Apple’s FaceTime. They’ve added a feature called Knock Knock though, that shows you a live video preview of the caller before you pick up the call. Google promises it will work seamlessly with poor network connections since (like YouTube) they adjust the picture quality to suit your connection speed. Oh, and all Duo calls are encrypted too.

They will both be rolled out to the public in the Summer, and I can’t wait to take them for a spin.

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