Things You Don’t Know About Google’s Allo


With all instant messaging mobile apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and iMessages how can Google be left behind? Google launched its new chat app for Android and iPhone on 21st Sept 2016. Google describes Allo as a smart messaging app with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps say more, express better and do more. Allo includes an in-app assistant called “@google” that will help you make plans with friends & family, find information instantly, play videos, offer restaurant suggestions and express yourself in better way.

What’s New in Allo?

Allo is an app which draws on Google’s machine learning software to learn how users chat, in order to generate and suggest appropriate responses quickly. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) also underpins the virtual assistant while offering responses, to provide directions, weather news and flight information.

Stand Aparts for Allo Are:

  1. The Google Assistant. @google is the best feature topping the charts for Allo. This virtual assistant pulls information from the internet within a chat without pausing it for a while. Google says that the Assistant that is now available in allo is a “preview” of advanced AI virtual assistant that can answer your queries and provide appropriate information within messages.
  2. Automatic Responses. To save on user’s time when they are o the move, Allo suggests automatic replies. Though initially the conversation may appear to be bland, but as this software empowers the machine to pick up each user’s style of conversation and use it when required.

Google says “whether you’re a haha or ‘lol’ kind of a person, smart reply will improve over time and adjust to your style of conversation.”

  1. Image Recognition. Allo has another outstanding feature of recognising the image that lets it differentiate between an animal and a human or recognise what the image is all about. It also suggests responses and expressions similar to that of humans.
  2. Varied Size Texts and Images. Allo contains playful features similar to that of Apple’s iMessages, Facebook’s messenger and has the ability to scribble on pictures, vary size of text messages and send stickers.
  3. Chat in Incognito Mode. Google Allo takes privacy and security to the next level beyond Transport Layer Security (TLS) called Incognito. With Incognito mode, messages have an additional feature for privacy like discrete notification & message expiration.

In contrast to all the above said goodies the real picture of Google Allo is way different from the one projected. After 2 weeks of release the goods, we bring the goods (aforesaid) and the ills of Allo.

Google Assistant is Not A Hit. With the incorporation Google Assistant, the company has tried to stand above the pack of regular chat apps but actually falls apart. Google assistant provides you suggested responses to the person you are chatting to, on the basis of information gathered. It suggests the text even before you type anything. These are helpful to some extent but are also annoying at times when it responds in unusual manner. As far as the feature of offering list of references on restaurants is talked about, assistant highlights the suggestions on its own which actually might not match your taste. And for movies, it might give you the list of latest releases but can’t get reservations done for you. There’s no way to turn off assistant while chatting.

User Privacy Put on Stake. Privacy perspective has been compromised a lot. To improve the responses of its Artificial Intelligence, Google has made a default setting wherein it monitors and records everything of your conversation and keep it indefinitely unless intentionally deleted by the user. But it has put the user’s privacy at stake as the records may be hacked by hackers.

Restricted Availability. Allo is an app that is used only on phones and is not available for chatting on computers, laptops or tablets. It is restricted to the contacts that are already using this app and none others.Moreover it doesn’t have a supporting video calling feature in it. Though Google has launched a separate app for calling named Duo, but there is no link between the both.

Adoption Barrier. The main barrier to adoption might be the number of people who actually download this app. imessages being the direct competition are inbuilt in iPhones and hence have an advantage and even offer better and more amusing features than Allo. More than one billion people each are already using Facebook messenger and Whatsapp. It’s a tough fight for Allo to prove its worth.

Concluding in the words of Tony Wright, a strategist at DigitasLBi, “Google loves to integrate its products into one another, so there will be some sort of search PPC equivalent within app products at some point perhaps.”

Concluding the Blog, we would just say that with Allo Google has introduced a smart Assistant who is qualified enough but lacks experience. So the decision is all yours, whether you like a quick-witted assistant or simply ignore it.

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