Eric Kay, Director of Engineering, announced a new messaging app called Allo. It focuses on letting you express yourself in a messaging situation while making it secure and smart with the Google Assistant.
You connect with your phone contacts and talk with your friends through texts, lots of custom-made stickers and a little something called “WhisperShout”. It’s a slider feature that can shrink or grow how your message will appear in the conversation — sorta like how you can hold the Like button to blow up a thumbs up in a Facebook Messenger convo.
Google Inbox’s Smart Reply feature has migrated over to Allo. When prompted with a question like “Dinner later,” Smart Reply provides you with buttons to say “I’m busy” or “I’m in”. Smart Reply even can talk about pictures, thanks partly to Google Photos labelling system. Dog? “Oh my god, so cute!” Linguini with clams? “Yummy!” Of course, Smart Reply will grow along with you as you text and emoji it up.
We led off our coverage with Google Assistant and it’s integral to Allo’s machinations, too. If you bring up in your dinner talk that you want to go to an Italian restaurant tonight, the Assistant pulls up restaurant search cards within Allo. After some deliberation, you can book your reservation right through OpenTable, and again, right from Allo. Google Assistant is always available to talk and help you out in Allo if you hit up a conversation with “@Google”.
Allo also gets an Incognito Mode — Chrome-like and all. It’s end-to-end encrypted with hidden notifications and expiring messages, too.
We’re almost ready to say “Spaces, move over.”
This story is developing.