At Google I/O 2016, Google announced two upcoming applications: Allo, a messaging app, and Duo, a video-calling app. Both apps are based on a user’s phone number, and will allow users to contact the people in their address book.
Google described Allo as a smart messaging app. The app has integrated machine learning, with a Smart Reply feature showing users suggested replies based on the current conversation and their own chatting style.
— Google (@google) May 18, 2016
Google explained the Smart Reply feature in a blog post:
Smart Reply learns over time and will show suggestions that are in your style. For example, it will learn whether you’re more of a “haha” vs. “lol” kind of person. The more you use Allo, the more “you” the suggestions will become. Smart Reply also works with photos, providing intelligent suggestions related to the content of the photo. If your friend sends you a photo of tacos, for example, you may see Smart Reply suggestions like, “yummy,” or, “I love tacos.”
Allo will also include access to the Google assistant, so users can bring maps, YouTube content and more into their conversations without switching between apps. The Google assistant will also be able to pull in information from a user’s own content, such as flight and hotel information, or photos from a trip, as examples. Finally, Allo will support incognito mode, with these private chats offering end-to-end encryption and “discreet notifications.”
We’ve optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited, it gracefully adjusts quality so you’re still able to connect. We also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and WiFi, so you don’t need to worry about what network you’re on.
Video calls on Duo will feature end-to-end encryption.
Both Allo and Duo will be available on iOS and Android this summer.