Google launches the new Allo instant messaging application. With around 10 thousand downloads in a day and a 4.9 rating on the Play Store, the app is off to a promising start.
Similar to WhatsApp, Allo works using your mobile number, so you can use it to send text messages to anyone in your phonebook and not just other Allo users — a feature not present on WhatsApp. The app also comes with an incognito mode which allows users the choice to encrypt or destroy chats with selected contacts.
Google Allo is available with Google Assistant that guides the users through the app’s features. “The Google Assistant is the next chapter in a journey Google has been on for many years to assist people in their everyday lives. We’re starting with a preview edition to show you just one way that your Assistant will work for you in chat,” said Amit Fulay, group product manager.
Where Allo differs from these already popular messaging apps is in its “smart” abilities: it can reply to messages for you and has an in-app assistant called “@google” that can search the internet, play videos and offer restaurant suggestions.
The biggest difference between Google Allo and WhatsApp is that the former has the ability to use Google Search even in the middle of a chat. Yet another fascinating feature of Allo is that it can run independently without having a Google account.
As well as offering responses, artificial intelligence also underpins the virtual assistant, which can be called upon to provide directions, topical information such as news and weather, restaurant and flight information, and in-message games.
Jack Kent, director, mobile at IHS Technology, believes that one-stop solution apps are no longer the future. “The top messaging apps claim a combined audience of around five billion monthly active users indicating that many people use multiple apps. One of the keys to messaging app success is the network effect of having a wider group of one’s contacts using the same app,” Kent said.