Shortly after announcing the unexpected arrival of its Siri-contending digital assistant on “many” non-Pixel Android Nougat and Marshmallow phones, as well as the extension of Gmail receiving size limits, Google has just unveiled the latest Allo update.

This is by no means a game changer, and it’s unlikely to considerably increase the relatively low number of the instant messaging mobile app’s users. But for existing Allo chatterboxes, and especially young, hip users, easier GIF and emoji communication should make a (small) difference, convincing them to stick to the still-fledgling service for a little while longer.

What Google Allo does better now is “bring your emojis to life”, which is just a fancy way of saying you can animate, enlarge and shrink a bunch of them without much hassle. Meanwhile, a hopefully comprehensive GIF library comes “at your fingertips”, and all you need to do to access and peruse it is tap the smiley icon in the chat bar, then swipe left and “pull for GIFs.”

Last but certainly not least, it becomes faster and easier to bring the Google Assistant into chats with friends today through a simple and straightforward shortcut. Merely tap the AI’s icon in the compose box and ask for whatever info you want quickly pulled from the web. No more manually typing @google to invoke your personal assistant, at least on Android devices, with all these new features also headed to iOS “soon.”

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