Update: Google has now opened up pre-registration for Allo. Unfortunately, there is no specific timing for the app’s release as Google only noted during I/O that will be released later this year.
At Google I/O 2016, Google announced a new smart messaging app called Allo. Presented by Google’s Eric Kay, a Google engineering director, the app utilizes machine learning and the Google Assistant to make conversations more productive.
“Allo uses machine learning to suggest replies on the fly, anticipating what you might want to say next,” said Kay.
The app has the ability to learn from conversations the user has to suggest future responses. Allo offers several ways for users to express themselves with a wide variety of content and stickers.
“Allo is fast smart and secure and it lets you express yourself in fun, new ways,” said Kay.
An example of this is a feature called whisper shout, which allows users to adjust the size of the text and emojis they’re about to send to better relay how enthusiastic they currently feel.
Furthermore, Allo includes an ink feature which allows users to upload and use a stencil feature to write on photos before they upload, in a format that resembles Snapchat.
Keeping in line with several tech companies as of late, messages sent using the app’s incognito mode are encrypted with end-to-end encryption. Kay assured the audience that privacy was at the forefront of Google’s mind when it designed the app. In the same incognito mode announced above, Allo uses a transient data storage model. This means that Google can’t store chat logs or assign an identity to them on its servers. The user also has the control to delete conversations. However, it’s important to note the user needs to opt into these features; they’re not enabled by default.
By hitting @google in the app while you’re chatting users can call up the Google Assistant to initiate a search inside the chat. Users can also chat with Google Assistant directly if they want more information about something.
The messaging app will also serve as the first outlet for the Google Assistant, which is likely to be released later this year.
Allo is one of two new apps that were announced at the conference today, in addition to Duo. The app is set to be available this summer on iOS and Android.
Related reading: Google shows Google Assistant’s powerful chat bot capabilities