Google has pulled the wrappers off a new messaging service at last night's I/O showcase event. Called Allo, it’s a direct challenger to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with the added ability of learning your habits so it can help you respond to messages faster.
Allo, which works with Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS, has a string of standard issue messaging functions.
There are versions of emojis called Expressions, which let you swipe to create your own emotional signifiers, and the ability to scribble over images, Snapchat–style.
But it’s Allo’s ability to learn that really marks it out.
Using Google’s new artificial intelligence–led Assistant tool, a beefed- up Siri rival that the company also debuted yesterday, it can compose so–called Smart Replies based on the messages you receive.
If someone suggests Italian food for dinner, Assistant will propose that you make reservations and then give location-aware recommendations for restaurants, as well as opening times and directions.
You can send this information to friends from within the app.
What’s more, if you want recommendations directly from Assistant, you just need to type @google while using Allo to loop it in.
The more you use Assistant, the more it will learn about you, meaning its recommendations get better.
Allo’s final calling card is Incognito mode. This gives users end–to–end encryption and chats which expire.
Any deleted chats will be purged completely, putting Allo on a par with WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage.
Also will be made available this summer.