Google’s new assistant builds a lot of machine learning into a messenger app format. Allo (pronounced like “Aloe”) has basic emoji and stickers. There’s a clever feature called “Shout Whisper” that lets you make your text messages and emoji larger and smaller to indicate emotion or emphasis. This is easily done with a slider at the side of the screen.
Here’s where the AI comes in. If someone sends you a photo of a dog, for example, the app detects it’s a dog, and gives you some one-tap canned responses such as “cute dog!” You can ask the personal assistant for information on a favorite athlete, and you’ll get back a lot of stats and even a YouTube highlight. You can access Open Table info and make restaurant reservations directly from the app.
There’s also a video conferencing component called “Duo.” One feature, called “Knock Knock,” gives you a video preview of the person calling you before you even pick up. And baked in is a technology that picks the best wireless connection to keep the audio/video experience smooth.
Allo will be available this summer on both Android and iOS.