Google is ready to jump back into messaging.
Allo, the standalone messaging app that Google announced back in May, is now available to the masses — and probably smarter than any messaging app you’ve ever used. That’s because of its built-in Google Assistant, an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that can do everything from recommend nearby restaurants to answering questions you have.
Because this is a messaging app, the Google Assistant can be easily summoned to join the group conversations you’re having friends, acting as an on-hand expert to provide advice and to resolve disputes.
Video Source – Google
When you first start chatting with the Google Assistant directly, it’ll politely introduce itself, ask if it can use your device’s location and then give you a few examples of what you can do. Like Google Now, it can tell you the weather, and it lets you set timers, alarms and reminders and ask general questions. You can also use it to see the latest news or specific news about a person or event (and subscribe to daily updates about them) or ask about nearby restaurants, flight delays and other standard queries you are likely familiar with from Google Now. You can also play a trivia game and, if you feel like you are in a confessional mode, you can tell the Assistant things about yourself, too.
Privacy and security-wise, there is an Incognito mode that encrypts chats end-to-end, uses discreet notifications, and has messages expire after a set time. Google notes that regular Allo chats are still encrypted.
Like Duo, Allo requires a phone number to register. Google notes that you can message those not using Allo through SMS or with app preview messages on Android. The app is available on the iOS App Store and still rolling out on the Play Store.