After weeks of anticipation and waiting, Google finally pulled the trigger and launched Google Allo, their new messaging app. The company had indicated it would be available this summer and as expected, it launched today (late last night technically) on the last day of summer. Promise kept!
The new app that is “a new smart messaging app for Android and iOS that helps you say more and do more right in your chats. Google Allo can help you make plans, find information, and express yourself more easily in chat. And the more you use it, the more it improves over time.”
Leveraging phone numbers of contacts in your contacts list, you can SMS or, if they are using Allo, rich message them with larger text, inked photos and stickers. If you message someone and they are not using Allo (on SMS), they will get a small prompt to download the app if they are on Android but they don’t necessarily have to do so. Allo can be just a SMS app if you so choose.
The real killer feature in Google Allo however is Google Assistant that is built into it.
Google Assistant, which we are going to hear more on over the coming weeks leading up to the October 4th event Google is hosting, is a bot-like feature in Allo that can give you a wealth of
information by typing or speaking to it. It can give you information such as weather information, help you plan a trip, translate text for you and even give you some fun things like puzzles to do.
With your Assistant in Allo, you can have a conversation with Google — ask it questions and let it help you get things done directly in your chats. You no longer need to leave a conversation with friends just to grab an address, share your favorite YouTube video, or pick a dinner spot. Just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. And of course, you can also chat one-one-one with your Assistant in Allo.
The assistant is impressive and if for no other reason, you should download Google Allo to try it out. It is a great glimpse to what Google has in store around these types of apps and the power of their AI platform.
Other features include the ability to do group chats, ink up photos and send stickers (which you can download free into the app). It is truly designed to be a messaging app for the masses with all the features (functional or frivolous) that you would see in competing apps.
Keep in mind that, at least for now, you have to have your contacts phone number to use Allo. This could change in the future but for now, you have to have it.
You can download Google Allo for free in the Play Store.