Google Reply, the app that adds the ability to use smart replies to a variety of messaging apps on your Android phone, has been released in beta by Google’s Area 120 team. For those that aren’t familiar with Area 120, it is the experimental development area within Google. For those who are familiar with Microsoft Garage from Microsoft, it is the same concept.
Google Reply adds smart replies to the notification shade for Android Messages, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts and Twitter Direct Messages. But it also brings the ability to send auto replies for when you are driving or, later on, when you are exercising or sleeping. It is a handy app indeed.
When you get a notification of a messaging app that is supported, the notification shade will have Google AI driving smart replies in bubbles under the text of the notification. Like other smart replies such as those in Android Messages already or in Gmail, you just tap the reply you want to send and it is sent for you automatically.
Google Reply can also send automatic replies when you are busy during an activity like driving. This prevents you from being distracted. Right now the feature only works when you are driving but you can see a full list of what is likely to be supported in the future. If you try to enable one of those other features, you will get a pop-up letting you know that the Area 120 team considers where you tapped as an up-vote for that feature.
Because the app is in beta, you can’t get it in the Google Play Store. You can download it from APKMirror and sideload it on your device. Keep in mind that it is beta so there are bits that don’t work, as described above, and you can get some really strange AI generated replies at times. But it is great to see the potential of this app and hopefully Reply will get full fledged app status from Google.