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Google Debuts 'Allo' Messaging App

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May 18, 2016, 12:41 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e
updated May 18, 2016, 1:05 PM

Google today announced Allo, a messaging application that expands the ability for expression by tapping into the new Google Assistant, all while keeping conversations secure. The app supports emoji and stickers, and a tool called "whisper shout" that lets people shrink or expand the size of text to convey volume or impact. Allo supports drawing tools, for marking up or annotating photos. It uses machine learning to guess or suggest responses that could be appropriate for the conversation — all without requiring users to type. For example, Allo was able to automatically suggest that a photo of a dog was cute. This feature is called Smart Reply. The app includes search tools similar to the GBoard keyboard app that Google recently made available to the iPhone. The app permits people to converse directly with the Google Assistant to, in effect, perform searches, such as sports scores and headlines. As for privacy and security, Google created an incognito mode for Allo that are encrypted end-to-end. It offers private notifications and expiring chats, and when incognito conversation threads are deleted they are gone forever. Allo will be the first home for the new Google Assistant. Allo will be available later this summer.

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