Google has yet another messaging client in the works. Called Allo, it effectively replaces traditional SMS texting with a Facebook-like interface and features while still using phone numbers as the contact method. So, you can benefit from read message notifications, typing notifications, emojis, stickers, group chats, and improved picture display among other things.
In addition to that, there are some cool Google-specific features such as Ink (handwriting and drawing as seen in MSN Messenger many moons ago), Whisper Shout (increase text size for a given message to 'shout' at people -- great for arguments!), and smart reply (quick reply options that learn from your chat history).
And then there's Google assistant, which lets you do things like check sports scores, book dinner, play games, search Google, use Maps, share YouTube videos, look at photos from your Gallery, and so on, all without leaving Allo. Voice interaction is supported here, too.
Finally, Allo includes an optional Incognito mode for end-to-end encryption and discrete notifications for those concerned with privacy.
Google is also launching Duo, a video calling client that for some reason is separate from Allo. Like the messenger, it isn't dependent on an internet connection, relies on phone numbers as its contact method, and supports end-to-end encryption. The company claims it will work well even on unreliable connections.
The new clients will launch sometime this summer on Android and iOS.