At 2016’s IO developer conference, the biggest event held by Alphabet, Google decided to take a bold step by announcing Allo and Duo. Allo being Google’s mobile, phone-number linked, messaging application. Allo as an app makes thing more conversational and expressive with intelligent suggestions.
With Google assistant the user will be recommended with suggestions corresponding to the conversation. With this unique feature one does not have to leave the app to search for links and photos, making the conversation more responsive. There is a new AI based feature which learns users’ conversational pattern and comes up with smart reply suggestions. Allo also integrates Google’s other services like Google Search and Maps, all in a single app which makes it a keeper. I am definitely giving it a shot.
Allo also offers two privacy settings namely Normal and Incognito. Although messages are encrypted in both modes, the normal setting allows artificial intelligence run by Google to read messages and analyse them and provide suggestions. Only the incognito mode uses end-to- end encryption, which ensures that the messages can only be read by the people on either end of the conversation.
One feature which was present in Hangouts has made its way in Allo as well is the doodle feature which lets users to modify pics. With these amazing features Allo definitely beats WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But one doesn’t see any long term vision in the app. What would be the sticky point in this app is to be seen.
Duo is essentially Google’s FaceTime competitor for face to face video calling. One very interesting feature that Duo offers is that the video is already displayed on the lock screen even before the call being picked up. So there is no need to pick up the call to check who’ on the other side.
That brings us to the burning question, why does the world need another messaging app and whether Allo and Duo are its saviours Well, for the most part Google has been exceptional in its offerings making sure that they hit the sweet spot. But with hangouts providing all the features that Allo and Duo provide it is difficult to the future scope of these apps.
Google announced these two apps despite the fact that Hangouts can SMS, send data messaging, and make video calling. There’s no arguing that Allo and Duo both offer some interesting and user friendly features. Unfortunately, Google insists on further fragmenting their messaging user base to implement them. Google insists that Hangouts will be sticking around. For how long? That is to be seen.