google_allo
The future is here. Allo is finally ready for download in some parts of the world, and South Africa is one of them. Google first announced the smart messaging app along with Duo (a video calling app) during the I/O Developer conference in May.

Duo was launched in August and expectations have been high for Allo as they were both slated to be released this summer. Expert tipster, Evan Blass revealed the launch date on twitter earlier this week and it seems he was right.

Allo is supposed to be Google’s answer to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and a distinct feature it has is that it’s AI-powered. Allo uses machine learning to help you chat faster and smarter (read: become lazier) by suggesting appropriate responses to messages you receive.

Allo is also integrated with the previously announced, Google Assistant. You can have conversations or mention the Assistant in your chats, to ask questions or pull information, without leaving the chat page. For example, if I temporarily forget about the recession and text my friend about meeting up for pizza, the assistant will show me recommendations of places to get pizza nearby. Coolies, right?

Other Allo features include photos, emojis, stickers, and a Chrome-like incognito mode with advanced privacy features. According to the Google launch post, “You can also message friends who aren’t yet using Google Allo through SMS or, for those using Android, app preview messages.” You won’t need to sign in with your Google account as Allo only requires your phone number. I reckon this is good news for those that do not want Google to have their soul information.

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