Google Is Bringing Its Smart Reply Feature To Android Messages, But There’s A Catch


One of the most raved about features on Google's Allo messaging app, Smart Reply, is finally coming to Android Messages — but only for Project Fi users.

What Are Smart Replies?

Introduced in 2015 for the Inbox app, Smart Replies are a trio of artificial intelligence-powered replies that are auto-generated based on the context of the message it's meant to respond to. For example, if the recipient receives a message that sounds like an invitation, Smart Replies could offer options such as "Sure, I'll go" or "Yes" or something along those lines.

However, most people don't actually use Allo, so they've missed out on the incredible feature. Not anymore, though. Users will soon get to take advantage of Smart Replies in the regular Android Messages app, as announced by the official Twitter account of Project Fi.

The feature seems to work similarly as it does on Allo, Gmail, or Google Assistant. The underlying technology works by analyzing the conversation, then automatically generating a set of responses based on what users can click easily.

It would seem that to access the feature, users would have to allow Google to access their SMS history, plus other personal data the company has. It's still not clear how the process will work. But for now, Google has at least confirmed that the feature will indeed be hitting Project Fi users. However, there's a chance that it could roll out for regular users as well, as that shouldn't be difficult for the company to enable.

It's not clear why Smart Replies are coming to the Android Messages app only, though. Perhaps it's too hard to port the feature to other messaging apps, being that there's so many of them in the Play Store?

Smart Replies Also Coming To Gboard App?

Anyhow, Smart Replies is a real doozy, despite it being cold and impersonal at times. Sure, it's worth taking the time to compose more personal, specific messages, but for the time-conscious, Google's solution is sufficient enough. It might also be coming to another default Google app, it's worth mentioning — 9to5Google found code references suggesting that Gboard will get Smart Replies, too.

What do you think? Are you a Project Fi user? Do you think Smart Replies are a gimmick, or do you think it's pretty handy for sending quick responses? As always, if you have any thoughts, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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