Do We Really Need Another App?
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably saying to yourself “just what I need… another messaging app.” Yup, having text messages, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Slack, Hipchat, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts and your phone carrier texting app isn’t enough. You really want to drain your phone’s battery by having another push notification turned on. Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then Google Allo is the next technology trend you’ve been waiting for.
Google Allo Features That Actually Stand Out
However, there are a number of features that will make Google Allo stand out from the crowd. One feature, in particular, is the ability to chat to a Google Assistant, a bot that can carry out simple search tasks. (Users of Ashley Madison and Tinder will probably be used to chatting to bots, so there isn’t much of a learning curve needed). The idea behind Google Assistant is that it keeps you in-app while chatting, much like the G-Board for iOS lets you use Google search from any application you are in. So instead of needing to close Allo, and open up Chrome, or Safari, you can ask mid-chat where the closest burrito place is located.
Fancy New Tweaks To Old Ideas
The other “notable” features are fairly standard but there are some interesting tweaks to existing ideas:
Smart Reply: This is a really fancy version of predictive texting that learns how you talk and how you tend to respond to certain things.
Ink: You can draw or annotate photos. Great for drawing mustaches on pictures of ex-girlfriends.
Whisper Shout: The ability to change text size to make a point. Which is surprisingly absent from all other apps I’ve seen.
Stickers: More emoticons and images to spam your friends with.
Incognito Mode: This feature is interesting. In their incognito mode, you have the ability to send messages with a time decay. So like in Mission Impossible, your message will self-destruct in 5-4-3-2-1!!!! Referencing back to Ashley Madison; what better app to cheat on your S/O with!
These features make Allo an interesting option in a very crowded chat app market. Will it be enough to dislodge veterans like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger? Only time will tell.
Reading below the line comments is always dangerous, but looking below the fold on a number of articles relating to Google Allo, it seems the anticipation is minimal. There are a few comments about privacy which have been echoed by whistle-blower-in-chief Edward Snowden, who tweeted a link to this article from The Verge with his own security concerns. Ah, the irony.
So, it will be interesting to see how Google Allo fairs, if it sticks around, or fades away. Will you say “Allo” or goodbye to yet another chat app?
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