Google Duo is out, but we are yet to see the public version of Google Allo. Both apps are new following their arrival at the Google I/O 2016 developer conference.
With Duo, it is all about video calling in the easiest and simplest way possible. The app lets you jump straight into a video call without going into any unnecessary hassles. As for Google Allo, it is strictly meant for messaging purposes, just like what you already have with Facebook’s WhatsApp.
While WhatsApp adds voice calling to the already spectacular instant messaging services it offers, Allo has no promise of voice calling services, instead, it is Duo that could receive this update. Even though Google Allo has not been released, the beta version is out there in the wild and this has led us to a number of discoveries, especially when looking at Allo vs WhatsApp.
Google Allo will let you message your friends in a variety of ways, be it via text, graphics, stickers, doodling photos or even voice messaging. In fact, the latter feature is the latest discovery that points towards similarities between Allo and WhatsApp. In addition to the fact that both apps are tied to one’s phone number and require that the other party have the same app installed on their phones, the voice messaging aspect of the two is also very similar.
Just like WhatsApp, Google Allo’s voice messaging feature allows users to press and hold on the mic icon to begin recording a message. Letting this icon go will immediately send the recorded message to the intended recipient. Dragging your finger towards the left of the open window will cancel the message that you are currently recording. Even though this is very similar to what happens with WhatsApp, Google Allo is still in beta and it is possible that this UI could change once the public version is released.
Don’t be quick to write off Google Allo just because it has some major similarities with WhatsApp. The app betters its counterpart thanks to the fact that it comes baked with Google Assistant, which is based on AI and machine learning. This aspect enables Google Allo to suggest possible replies you can use when in chat with different persons. These suggestions get even better and more perfect as you keep using the app. The app also comes with support for stickers and emojis, which adds more zest to the already amazing messaging experience the app promises.
Google Assistant offers even more. You can get topical suggestions based on the current topic you are discussing with a friend. For instance, if a place you can have dinner is what you and your friend are talking about, Google Allo, with the help of Assistant, will bring up suggestions of places you can check out. This whole thing can even change into a personal chat with the Assistant, just in case you want more information.