Google has had previous stints with releasing social media messaging apps before like Hangouts that can be termed as a sleeper hit as compared to the raging success and high usage that Skype holds.Despite Hangouts’ lukewarm success, Google went ahead and created a chatbot that doubles up as your search assistant. No points for guessing the original version though! Based on existing chatbots like Siri and Cortana, Google Allo is built to provide answers for the user’s questions in a conversation.
How it works:
1.Identifies user by the phone number thus saving a lot of time on account setup details.
2.It does not override the device’s messaging application. It works as an app and stay so.
3.It piggybacks on the contact database in the device and does not create redundant databases in the app’s apk.
4. Contacts with Allo are shown on top of the list.
5. If sending message to non-Allo Android users, the message is displayed in the form of the Allo app view in the receiver’s phone showing them how the app works. This gives the user a free trial of the app, thereby giving the user, time to decide whether he wants to download the app.
6. If sending message to non-Allo iPhone users, the message is delivered as an SMS with a download link. It is upto the user to either download the app and text or just reply via SMS itself.
The Many Goods:
1. Smart Reply – It is a great feature that reads the conversation and suggests one tap replies to the messages. Run by an AI bot, Google’s assistant, this is a time saving feature to quickly respond to the query. On the downside, it can make the conversations impersonal if the suggests are used much too often.
2. Array of stickers – Allo’s sticker collection is a dream come true for many sticker-smiley junkies. The sheer variety of stickers is appalling and prompts even non-sticker posters to send a tirade.
3. Message settings - Like Whatsapp, Hike, Messenger and all other messaging app, Allo has the read receipt game on point
4. Security -The search can be made incognito and history is made available in the hands of the user.
5. Tag Google - In a personal conversation with your friends, you can add “@google” to ask the bot your query
6. Allo! My friend - Chat with Google like you would, with your friend. Get annoyed, take a dig, Google would converse with you uninterrupted.
All this being said, it is garnering truckloads of good reviews which has not been the case in the past chatbot releases.
Feedback via chats is something that Google has embedded, in order to elicit response immediately. This was set in the code, as Allo was initially released as a Preview Editor and feedback was important.
A simple thumbs up or a thumbs down is the option to provide if you are happy with the results given or not. If thumbs down, a text box will also appear, this will enable you to explain why you were not satisfied, in detail.
On a lighter note, Allo cracks bad jokes that will make you feel good and emulate the feeling of talking with a real person. It also plays “emoji-games”, albeit, refrains from offering political suggestions!
Allo is much more than what meets the eye. Google marks moderate targets for itself every time and this time, it satisfies all the goals and much more than that!
Collaborator: Shruti Balakrishnan