Google Allo, Duo upgrade texting, video calling with unique features

Google's SMS client has been revealed, looks like Facebook Messenger but with more features.

Sean Ridgeley
Published Thu, May 19 2016 9:34 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Jun 16 2020 4:29 PM CDT

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).

Google Allo, Duo upgrade texting, video calling with unique features |

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.

Sean has a background in journalism, and has been using that to write about gaming and tech since 2008 - first for Neoseeker, then Rage3D, and now, TweakTown. As News Editor, Sean's job is to supply regular stories on the latest happenings in the tech world. He also writes tweak guides to help you get the most out of your PC games and hardware.

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