If you're looking for yet another way to communicate with your friends and family from your mobile device, you now have Allo, a new and "smarter" messaging app from Google. It's available right off the bat for both Android and iOS devices (sorry, Windows Phone users!) and integrates a preview edition of of the Google Assistant, which you can use to have a conversation with Google.
"Ask it questions and let it help you get things done directly in your chats. You no longer need to leave a conversation with friends just to grab an address, share your favorite YouTube video, or pick a dinner spot," Google explains. "Just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. And of course, you can also chat one-one-one with your Assistant in Allo."
Having a digital assistant always on call is one of the standout features of Allo that prevents it from being just another run-of-the-mill messaging app, but it's not the only one. Part of the reason Google pitches Allo as a smart messaging app is because it learns your conversational mannerisms over time. In doing so, it will offer up suggested responses that you can send with a single tap.
"If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like 'aww cute!' And whether you’re a 'haha' or '😂' kind of person, Smart Reply will improve over time and adjust to your style," Google says.
Going beyond text communication, you can spice things up with photos, emojis, and stickers. You can also make emojis and text larger or smaller just by dragging the send button up or down, and doodle on pictures before sending them out.
Google's decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe. Avoid it for now.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 19, 2016
If you don't share Snowden's same concern, you can download Allo for Android on Google Play and for iOS in iTunes.