Google launches Allo 'smart' messaging app with Google Assistant AI

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2016
As promised, Google late Tuesday launched Allo, a so-called "smart" messaging app that sets itself apart from the crowd by integrating artificial intelligence assistant akin to Apple's Siri.




First announced in May at Google I/O, Allo includes the usual selection of fun text communication features made popular with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and, most recently, Apple's iMessage. For example, users can post stickers and text animations to a message string, or markup photos without leaving the app.

Allo also boasts a Smart Reply option that uses machine learning to suggest quick replies based on a conversation's chat history. The feature is similar to Apple's QuickType, but goes deeper by offering suggested replies for photos and other graphical content. Google also says Smart Reply selections improve over time, with responses molded after a user's personal style.

The main draw, as explained by Google in a blog post, is Allo's integration with an artificial intelligence called Google Assistant. Technically a "preview edition," Assistant lets users interact with an advanced chat bot capable of returning answers to simple queries directly in the Allo app.

For example, Assistant can pull local movie times, information about restaurants, weather data, traffic, sports scores and more into a chat window. The feature should prove convenient in group chats, as users no longer have to leave their messaging app to gather and share information.

Users can also interact with Assistant one-on-one in what can be described as a text-only version of Siri.

Unlike Siri and the new Messages app in iOS 10, Allo currently lacks hooks into third-party apps. While Assistant is able to surface information about a particular restaurant, users are unable to book a table in-app. Advanced interactions are handled through links and cards that open in another app or web browser.

Allo also sports end-to-end encryption with Incognito mode -- a term borrowed from Chrome -- and supports cross-platform conversations between iOS and Android devices.

Allo is available as a free download through the iOS App Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,010member
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    edited September 2016 ajllollivertmaybadmonkcalimagman1979lostkiwiwatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Not in the UK store
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Google's prosper from ignorance of people.
    calijahblademagman1979lostkiwiwatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 4 of 23
    rcfarcfa Posts: 737member
    How many google chat apps?
    talk, hangouts, allo, g+, Google Phone,...

    ...is there ANY concept behind this nonsense?

    And the most interesting concept of all, Wave, they dropped.

    Have one integrated text/voice communications project with tie-ins to phone and SMS, then you can add optional smart bots, and it might become an interesting alternative.
    badmonktokyojimupalominebig
  • Reply 5 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,696member
    mcdave said:
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    Well this is unexpected from a Google app:
     "It doesn't use your Google account though—you "sign in" with a phone number and it doesn't know who you are or who any of your friends are"
  • Reply 6 of 23
    jumejume Posts: 182member
    I think these guys are winners http://meetfranz.com because I'm sick of having 5 different chat apps on my phone and laptop.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 7 of 23
    rememember when Siri was launched in the 4s and the haters said it was just s gimmick? yeah...now everybody's got one.
    edited September 2016 badmonkcalipscooter63magman1979watto_cobrabig
  • Reply 8 of 23
    gatorguy said:
    mcdave said:
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    Well this is unexpected from a Google app:
     "It doesn't use your Google account though—you "sign in" with a phone number and it doesn't know who you are or who any of your friends are"
    They will know exactly who you are when they correlate that data with the other data they have on everybody.
    pscooter63calinolamacguylostkiwipalominewatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 9 of 23
    jume said:
    I think these guys are winners http://meetfranz.com because I'm sick of having 5 different chat apps on my phone and laptop.
    Or https://www.adium.im/
  • Reply 10 of 23
    If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
    -- Eric Schmidt CEO of Google

    Ya' know...

    If you can pay bills seamlessly, privately, securely and anonymously with ApplePay/TouchID/Secure Enclave -- why couldn't a similar process be used for all your interactions with apps, mail, messaging, surfing, web site logins, etc. (all interactions with the web or cloud).

    I've read that ApplePay usage is going to be really goosed by it's availability on web browsers -- which are used for the majority of online purchases (comparative shopping as opposed to incidental buying).

    If every web/cloud/app interaction used the ApplePay process -- that would be something!




    edited September 2016 tmaypscooter63calipalominewatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 11 of 23
    gatorguy said:
    mcdave said:
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    Well this is unexpected from a Google app:
     "It doesn't use your Google account though—you "sign in" with a phone number and it doesn't know who you are or who any of your friends are"
    Google knows your phone number so that is nonsense.
    techprod1gypscooter63calilostkiwirandominternetpersonjcs2305watto_cobrabig
  • Reply 12 of 23
    Google already changed the TOS on this. Unless you specifically enable Incognito mode, they will archive and keep all your messages sent using the service. 
  • Reply 13 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,696member
    badmonk said:
    gatorguy said:
    mcdave said:
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    Well this is unexpected from a Google app:
     "It doesn't use your Google account though—you "sign in" with a phone number and it doesn't know who you are or who any of your friends are"
    Google knows your phone number so that is nonsense.
    You can use it from any mobile phone, even a friends. The message is connected to the number rather than a Google account I'm not so sure they can know with certainty who is texting, and apparently unlike other messenger apps it's not collecting contacts from the phone either. But in any event I only reported this as written by ArsTechnica. That's their quote, not mine. They can certainly be incorrect. 
    edited September 2016 singularity
  • Reply 14 of 23
    If someone is using the service in incognito mode how will the Allo service be able to learn how to respond to the person? I am thinking Google and/or writers are not being honest about how incognito mode really works. I could be wrong, but this company's main objective is to collect as much information as possible about people to build better targeting for advertising and advertisers. Giving up a telephone number does not mean Google does not know who the person is. Nobody knows what data sharing deals Google has in place with its partners that will enable Google to discover what it needs to build a more rich profile. Also, if a person has already given Google his/her telephone number, Google will know who the person is.
    lostkiwiwatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 15 of 23
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    gatorguy said:
    badmonk said:
    gatorguy said:
    mcdave said:
    Incognito for all but the last people you want to hold your data - Google.  At what point will you think you're chatting with your friend but it's not really your friend.

    The singularity was always a question of when but now we know how.
    Well this is unexpected from a Google app:
     "It doesn't use your Google account though—you "sign in" with a phone number and it doesn't know who you are or who any of your friends are"
    Google knows your phone number so that is nonsense.
    You can use it from any mobile phone, even a friends. The message is connected to the number rather than a Google account I'm not so sure they can know with certainty who is texting, and apparently unlike other messenger apps it's not collecting contacts from the phone either. But in any event I only reported this as written by ArsTechnica. That's their quote, not mine. They can certainly be incorrect. 
    Are you suggesting I borrow a friend's phone for security purposes whenever I want to use the app?

    Google already changed the TOS on this. Unless you specifically enable Incognito mode, they will archive and keep all your messages sent using the service. 

    Fu** these guys are creepy!

    lostkiwipalominewatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 16 of 23
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,701member
    Google breaks its promise, your Allo messages will be stored indefinitely !!
    edited September 2016 lostkiwiwatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 17 of 23
    Google seems to unusually preoccupied with FaceBook these days. 

    I fail to see how Allo is going to do much in taking marketshare from WhatsApp. 

    Google has a far bigger problem. Alexa is going to displace search if Google isn't careful. Even Apple is going to have seriously upgrade the capabilities of Siri if they plan to compete. Apple's revenue doesn't depend on Siri, however. Google search is Alphabet's source of profits and capital. 

    Google remains poorly focused and it's going to haunt them eventually. Allo isn't going to do much more than Google+ did. If they have smart people, they would know better.

    palominewatto_cobrabig
  • Reply 18 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,696member
    wood1208 said:
    Google breaks its promise, your Allo messages will be stored indefinitely !!
    If that's true it's certainly not a great way to start out. Bad on Google. Not that it will probably matter since I can't imagine it will be all that successful anyway. 
    edited September 2016 lostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    It sounds like you're out of hand lotion. Don't worry, I've ordered more.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 20 of 23
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 330member
    I avoid google as much as is humanly possible.
    lostkiwiwatto_cobrabig
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