Google Allo takes chat to the next level

Google Assistant can also help with news, weather or incoming flight status information
Google Assistant can also help with news, weather or incoming flight status information
Google Assistant can also help with news, weather or incoming flight status information

Google South Africa has announced the launch of Google Allo to the South African market. Allo is a messaging app that works off your phone number and is available for Android and iOS mobile devices. Initially announced at the Google I/O Developer conference in May Allo is now up and ready for the consumption of socialites.

Allo does not only let you chat to friends, family and colleagues, it also features a preview version of Google Assistant, which allows you to chat one-on-one or in group conversations, by typing @google. This means when you’re trying to decide where to go for dinner with your bestie, for example, you can @google right in the chat and it will help you research and book a dinner spot.

Google Assistant can also help with news, weather or incoming flight status information. It can assist you in finding nearby places from pharmacies to petrol stations, or even assist to plan your next weekend away – from destinations to flights and accommodation so you don’t need to hop from your chat to your browser to search for things while the conversation is underway. The more you use Google Assistant, the more useful it becomes by remembering your preferences and information you ask it to.

Allo also features Smart Reply, which lets you respond to messages without typing a single word. Smart Reply suggests responses based on your conversation – just click the one you want, without having to type a thing. Whether you’re a ‘LOL’ or ‘hahaha’ kind of person, Smart Reply will improve over time and adjust to your conversation style. Smart reply will also suggest responses to photos sent in Allo, so if your friends send a picture of their dog, or cat, or cute kid, you might see suggestions like “aww, cute!” or “nice dog!”.

Chat just wouldn’t be chat if it was text only – in Allo you can make text or emojis bigger or smaller by dragging the ‘send’ button up or down, scribble on photos before you send them and add custom stickers from independent artists and studios around the globe that Google has partnered to create custom sticker packs, because sometimes what you really, really need is a ‘sloth riding a pizza’ sticker.

Google has also taken security into account – all chats are encrypted so your information is secure. It also offers an incognito mode (like that in Chrome), which provides end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications and message expiration.

Allo is available globally in app stores from today.

 

Staff Writer