New smart messenger Google Allo: review
What do you think about messengers?
To be honest, it’s variety today is a bit annoying. Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, and these are just the most popular. The problem is that each of your friends / relatives / colleagues enjoy different applications due to various reasons, and to communicate with them, we have to hold all of them in the smartphone. I would gladly abandon all of them in favor of Facebook Messenger – he has a great mobile application and a convenient client for the PC. But if you limit yourself to one messenger, you can lose communication with many people. So you have to endure a bunch of applications that perform the same function.
For the first time, about the new messenger we learned in May at the Google I / O 2016 conference. So, 21 September Google Allo became available for download in Google Play. The main feature was named by Allo developers is so-called “smart” component in the form of built-bot / Google Assistant. Google Allo in essence no different from many other messengers. You can send text and voice messages, share photos, and position on the map. You can also add emotional highlight to your correspondence with emoticons, stickers, or changing the font size. But it’s the trivial functionality.The main emphasis on Google Allo presentation was on “intelligent” Virtual Assistant. This is a separate companion, who, in fact, is a bit redesigned Google Now. Only now it is impossible to trigger it with the iconic voice command “Okay, Google», to work with an assistant Allo you need to open the application, select the dialogue with Google Assistant and then ask the question with text or voice.
Whether it is a convenient messenger?
In pursuit of “smart” functions Google completely forgot about the most important – Convenience.
I had a purely positive first impression of Allo, but after awhile, my opinion has changed diametrically opposite. The main problem – you can use Allo only on one device. Allo doesn’t use your Google account. An authorization process is done entirely through your cell carrier’s phone number. If you register your phone number with another device, Allo turns off on the first device, and you’ll get a notification saying that this device won’t receive Allo messages anymore. Next problem – the absence of the client PC. I think it’s temporarily, but I got used to that all messages I need are on the computer as well as on my smartphone. After all, the phone is not always with me: it can be discharged, forgotten, lost and you do not have access to the messages. Another issue – in Google Allo you can not send documents. You can certainly use a third-party file sharing and provide a link to download, but that’s uncomfortable.
Also, I want to mention new “Incognito” chat feature which allows you to set a self-destruct time for a chat session. To the most suspicious of you, Google promises that your chat history won’t be saved in incognito mode and that the chat is end-to-end encrypted, though Edward Snowden doesn’t trust it either.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 21 сентября 2016 г.
As for Virtual Assistant, at the presentation, it promised to be “smarter” than Google Now, learn while working to understand the context, location and time. But at the moment, I hardly can confirm that.
Overall Allo is not much different from the dozens of such messengers and will require much time and effort to catch up with the market leaders in terms of convenience and functionality. But we definitely will monitor the development of Allo in the future.
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