Google Allo – A user’s review
With so many messaging Apps already present in the market, Google recently came up with its App Google Allo. Google Allo is an instant messaging mobile App and it comes with a virtual assistant. The assistant comes up with a ‘smart reply’ function that allows the users to reply without having to type. Google Allo is available for Android as well as iPhone users. Google had made an announcement about this App at Google I/O in May this year after which it was released in September. This App by Google is here to compete with Apple’s iMessage, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. Let us try to understand Google Allo in a better way by discussing its features in detail.
A unique feature that sets apart Google Allo from the other messaging Apps available in the market is that it comes with a Google assistant. The assistant makes use of Artificial Intelligence to bring to you the answers to your questions, in a conversational manner. So any question that you throw in the way of assistant shall be answered within seconds by using the vast search database of Google. For example – if you type – “North Indian restaurants nearby”, then it will search for the popular restaurants serving North Indian cuisine in close proximity to your location. You just have to make sure that your location is turned on. You can also ask it to translate sentences to different languages, and it shall do the task for you within seconds. You can also check your emails in the App and search for old mails by typing a certain keyword. The Google assistant can also look up airfare prices for you and provide answers to all your common queries. The list of features doesn’t end here as you can also play games like geography quiz or guessing the names of movies based on emojis, with it.
Though it is much faster to press the home button and ask questions to Apple’s Siri or to Google’s other digital assistant – Google Now, but Google Allo does come in handy when you want to ask a question without leaving the App. This is in particular of great help when you are in a group chat. Suppose you are in a group chat and you type “popular restaurants”, then the assistant will show the results to everyone present in the chat so that you can plan your activities from there. The smartness of this App has no limits because apparently it can settle down debates too. For example – If you and your friend cannot remember the year a particular movie came out on, the assistant will immediately put the issue to rest, in writing.
Another feature of Google Allo is – smart replies. Smart replies are generic responses that pop-up above the keyboard and text field. For example – If you are chatting with your friend and he asks you – “Are you busy next Sunday?” then a series of replies like “Yes, why?”, “Maybe”, “Not sure” etc. will pop-up on your screen and these can be real time-savers especially if you’re on the go and need to reply quickly. Another good thing is that smart replies are not just limited to texts. For example – when you send a photo, Allo can recognize the subject matter and pop-up messages in response to the image too. Say you send over a photo of tandoori chicken then replies like “nom nom nom”, “looks delicious” etc. are generated. Similarly, Allo can identify pictures of monuments and also famous tourist spots.
If you’re not very comfortable with the idea of Google monitoring your chats then you can choose the incognito mode. In this mode you will neither get the assistant nor smart replies. However, you will get end to end encryption when you choose incognito mode. This basically means that Google or any third party partners shall not be able to access your conversations. This mode also lets you set an expiration time ranging from 5 seconds to one week, after which your chats will disappear.
Other features include blocking contacts, fun stickers, and ability to annotate or doodle on images before sending them. You can also increase or decrease the text size easily. And to all those users that are not on Allo, you can send a free SMS.
Why you should install Google Allo?
Google Allo has been launched at a time when there are already so many popular Apps in the market. And these Apps have individual advantage over Allo. Hangout has more collaborative tools including group video calling. iMessage for iOS10 has features such as screen effects and handwriting capabilities. With FB messenger you can use GIFs, and even send money to other users. WhatsApp provides you with more productivity support by enabling you to share documents and PDF files, it is also open to Windows phone and blackberry users. And above all, these Apps have a desktop version which means that you can chat from your phone as well as from your computer.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that Allo has its unique benefits. The very first one being that it is cross-platform, something which iMessage lacks. Further, it has incognito mode with an added layer of security of end to end encryption, something which Facebook messenger lacks till date. But the most remarkable feature of Google Allo has to be the assistant. It is super helpful and always knows the right answer. Hence, you should install this App once and give it a try.
Let us now sum up this discussion by highlighting the pros and cons of Google Allo –
- Excellent user interface.
- Crisp user experience.
- The integrate assistant bring the power of Google search to your chat.
- Fun sticker packs.
- Free SMS to non-Allo users.
- Not integrated with existing Google messengers.
- No third party App integration with assistant.
- No web version.
- No third party GIF and stickers.
Do let us know what you feel about Google Allo at [email protected]