Google is getting back into messaging with an app that Recode says is “probably smarter than any messaging app you’ve ever used.”
The standalone app, Allo, was announced in May, and beginning today it’s available for free on iOS and Android platforms.
“Allo comes with Google’s AI assistant and search functionality baked in, which means it offers a handful of perks that other apps don’t have,” Recode reports. “It will automatically suggest replies for you to send based on your conversation. If you’re making dinner plans with a friend, it will surface nearby restaurants. You can ask it for movie times or directions or the score of the game.”
The report quotes Nick Fox, VP of Google’s communications products, saying: “One of the principles we’ve applied here is not to have lots and lots of clutter. We don’t want people to be having to dig through the app to find the thing they want. We want to surface the right things at the right time.”
Recode adds: “All of this ‘surfacing’ happens within an otherwise typical messaging conversation, which is the key here because most people are already having these kinds of conversations inside of other companies’ apps. The artificially intelligent assistant is Google’s differentiator in its quest to capture some of the consumer messaging market from incumbents like Apple (iMessage) and Facebook (WhatsApp and Messenger), both of which have a massive head start.”