Allo, Google's smart messaging service, finally rolled out with all the bells and whistles of the company's AI skills and machine learning.
At I/O 2016, Google showcased two new apps that aim to make users' interaction with each other easier and more pleasant. Duo was launched a few weeks ago, and now it is time to see what Allo has to offer.
The app will set itself apart from the myriad of messaging clients by integrating Google Assistant. This means that the company's complex machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities will be put to good use, so that contextual information is at your fingertips.
Now, how to install Allo?
1. Open the Play Store/iTunes from your app drawer or home screen.
2. Search for Google Allo.
3. Click on the three dots in the top right corner next to the search result.
4. Click Install.
Setting Up Allo
Keep in mind that you have to provide Allo with your mobile number in order to set it up.
Taking a leaf out of the modus operandi of all apps running on Android Marshmallow or later, Allo will debut its first go at seeking a few permissions from the user.
First off, the app will politely ask you for your phone number. As you click yes, Allo activates the system and registers it to your respective number. This is somewhat similar to registering to WhatsApp, an app that also only asks for your mobile number to start up.
Not being satisfied with only having access to your written info, the app will ask for you to take a selfie for its profile picture. Thankfully, you can skip this phase and choose a more suitable picture.
The first conversation partner that you will have in Allo is, of course, the Google Assistant. The smart bot was developed to aid users in doing smart searches during conversations, thus making it easy to get access to various relevant information. In the thread, the Google Assistant will ask for permission to detect and use your location.
The only problem with the Assistant is that for it to be efficient, Google's AI must read your private chats to provide better search features. This implies that the end-to-end encryption is abandoned, making it easier for various malicious users to spy on you. However, keep in mind that an incognito mode exists for conversations you intend to keep fully encrypted, but these will miss out on Google Assistant's capabilities.