|Published : 21 Sep 2016, 16:39:17|
Google launches latest mobile chat app, chatbot
Google launched its latest mobile chat app, Allo, and with it Google Assistant – a chatbot that can be used in online conversations with friends.
The messaging app, which is available for Android and the iPhone, has similar features to most other messaging clients: stickers, emoji, the ability to draw on images like Snapchat and the choice of group or one-on-one chats. Messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default – unlike on WhatsApp, which it will compete with – but can be switched to an incognito mode to do so and set how long they exist before they’re deleted.
Google’s “smart reply”, first introduced with its Inbox mail app, will also feature, predicting responses to the messages and content received, such as “yup” to the question “are you on your way”. While text-based prediction is not uncommon, Google is going one-stage further and bringing its image recognition from its Photos service, providing smart replies when sent images of pets or holiday pictures, suggestion responses such as “nice dog” or “beautiful sunset” when appropriate.
Google Assistant is the next evolution of the search company’s efforts with Android’s Now on Tap, natural language search and voice assistant features. The company says it will learn from your day-to-day activities and improve its suggestions, in the same way Google Now currently does within the Google search app on the iPhone and built-in to Android. –RH