Google has launched its messaging app ‘Allo’, which would compete with the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Available for both Android and iOS platforms, Allo will also mark the debut of Google Assistant in a preview edition.
Google had announced the Allo and Duo at the I/O in May 2016. While Duo was launched on August 16, the company on Wednesday rolled out Allo for both iOS and Android users. It is a new smart messaging app that lets you do more than just chatting. Google Allo can help you make plans, find information, and be more expressive in chat. The phone-based app is free and available in the Play Store.
“Whether it is planning a night out or just catching up, we rely on messaging to stay in touch with friends and family every day. But too often we have to hit pause on our conversation – whether it is to check the status of a flight or look up that new restaurant. So we created Allo, a messaging app that helps you keep your conversation going, by providing assistance when you need it,” – Google Group Product Manager Amit Fulay.
While the cool AI functionalities of the app are a big threat to many, it is the popular app WhatsApp that needs to worry more.
Though Allo looks way more interesting than WhatsApp, there many similarities between the two. Like WhatsApp, Allo too requires your phone number to activate the app. This means that you cannot use the same Allo account on two different phones. Both can be used to share images, videos, voice messages and stickers.
User of the both the apps can draw over the images using the given pen tool. Though we must admit that Allo is richer in terms of stickers as it comes with large number of sicker packs to choose from. Both also have the Quick Reply from Notifications feature, although you cannot type your reply in the case of Allo. You only opt from what the smart virtual assistant inbuilt inside the app gives you. The AI will give you suggestions for reply and you need to choose from it. Both apps have the option to create group chats and even mute or delete them.
The biggest difference is the smart AI in Allo. While WhatsApp is a simple-looking app with basic features, Allo allows you to do lot more than just chat. The Google Assistant support in Allo lets you search hotels, flights, movie halls and lot of other things directly from the app.
While both apps assure end-to- end encryption for the chats, Allo allows selective end-to-end encrypted chats, which means through its Incognito chat mode you can select the contact you wish to chat with in incognito mode. This chat will be encrypted as well as the chat history will disappear after you have finished the talk when you have set an expiration period. You can set your expiration period for the chats, ranging from 5 seconds to maximum one week. The chat will expire once the conversation is over. In case, you have switched off your expiration period, the chats won’t disappear.
Text formatting options are also different for the two. While in WhatsApp you can bold, italicise or strikethrough your text, Allo lets you increase or decrease the text size by sliding the send button up and down respectively.
But at the same time, WhatsApp also allows a user to make calls directly from the app using the internet connection. On Allo this functionality is missing, even though on Google’s other chat app — Hangouts — it is available.