For a messaging app with a monthly active user base of more than three times the population of the United States, the launch of a new app should not, ideally, make WhatsApp sweat. But Google Allo might not be just another messaging app making up the numbers.
It has to be the stand-out feature of Allo—your personal assistant. From weather to the available flights, from restaurants to film timings, the Google Assistant is your one-stop for responses to all such queries. And you do not have to leave the chat or let it run in the background while doing it. You can either chat with it directly or invoke it in your chats with friends by typing “@google”. You can ask it to tell you jokes, recite poems, set calendar entries and set alarm, and what not. Allo offers multiplayer games, which you can play with chat-mates, and single-player games.
Texting, and more
You can format the text (shout/whisper feature) by increasing or decreasing the font sizes of text messages, by sliding the send button up and down respectively. Also, Allo has an enviable collection of stickers (there are customised ones for Indians, too) and emojis. What is more, you can scribble on the pictures before you send it to your friend. It also has the smart reply feature, where in Google will suggest replies based on our past responses. The more you use it, the more accurate your automatic responses become. It also has ‘photo recognition’ by which it suggests an automatic response to a picture received.
WhatsApp, too, has end-to-end encryption in its chat, but Allo goes for selective end-to-end encryption, where you can select 'Incognito Chat' option and select the person from 'Contacts' with whom you want to chat with in incognito mode. The notifications would not show the content of the message or the person who is sending it. Also, the chat history can be set to expire after five seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute, one hour, one day or one week. You can also turn this feature off completely.