When Google launched it allo smart chat app over a month ago, people where amazed with the kind of awsome futures it came with, like its not enough other cool futures have packed to it new version.
Trying to switch your friends and family to yet another messaging client, especially one lacking in features (even compared to Google’s other services), is difficult. Not long after its introduction, Allo’s ranking tanked on the Play Store and App Store.
Can the first major update, version 2.0, be enough to convince people to switch? I doubt it, but I have to give Google some credit for trying.
One of my major annoyances while trying out Allo at release was the lack of quick replies from message notifications. you could either respond with an automated response or open the app to type a reply. Now Allo has added a Reply button for replying directly to the notification, much like quick replies on Hangouts and Google Messenger. The sender’s name and image are also now visible in the notification.
Again, much like Hangouts and Google Messenger, you can now reply with your voice or with emojis on Android Wear. Simply tap reply on the notification and either start speaking, or tap Draw Emoji. You can still reply with the automated responses too.
I so like the concept of Direct Share, introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The idea is to share text and images directly to specific people, instead of sending it to an app and selecting the recipient there. Unfortunately, in practice, it turns into a random collection of contacts. Regardless, your Allo contacts now appear in Direct Share.
Allo now enables support for sending GIFs via keyboards that support the feature, on Android 7.1 and above. sending GIFs with Google Keyboard is very simple and works as expected. On an unrelated note, Google Assistant seems very confused about GIFs.
Allo 2.0 has a number of minor new features worth mentioning. Firstly, Allo has a launcher shortcut for creating a new conversation. There is also Incognito key alerts, a splash screen, and official multi-window support. Finally, there’s a new accessibility mode that turns the chat bubbles gray for easier reading. You can download the latest from play store.