At the ongoing Google I/O 2016 keynote CEO Sundar Pichai invited Erik Kay to talk about two new ‘communications’ apps. The first app is called ‘Allo’, which is essentially Google’s way of taking on the uber popular WhatsApp. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football Championship
Google says Allo is a smart messaging app based on your phone number, and comes with set of unique features. One of them is what Google calls ‘WhisperShout’. As the name suggests, this feature basically lets you change the size of the text in order to express your emotions better. When you type a word, there is a slider on the right side that lets you drag a finger up or down to increase or decrease the size of the text. Also Read - Sundar Pichai: 5 interesting facts about Google CEO you never heard before
The other feature is called ‘Ink’, which basically lets users doodle over photos. This feature is very Snapchat-like and lets you personalize a photo with freehand text or drawings. This being a smart messaging app, it also offers “smart replies” to messages. But Google says these are more than canned responses, and actually are based on what you usually type, your relationship with the friend you are chatting with and also the shared photos. The on stage demo showed a photo of a dog, and the app suggested replies like cute dog among others.
Google Assistant too is integrated into the Allo app, and it can proactively give suggestions from within the app itself. So instead of switching apps to search for something, you will be able to do a Google Search from within the app window itself. For example, if you are chatting about having Italian dinner, Google Assistant will show up restaurant options. All this can be done by simply typing ‘@google’.
Besides all the unique features, Allo is also big on security. Like WhatsApp, Allo comes with end-to-end encryption, and there is also a browser-like Incognito mode. As the name suggests, chats on incognito mode are private and expire soon after you exit. These chats give private notifications as well.