Google says it’s planning to launch a new iOS and Android ‘smart messaging’ app called Allo, along with a video calling app called Duo. Both are based on the user’s mobile phone number, drawing comparisons with WhatsApp.
Allo integrates Google’s new ‘natural language’ assistant. It means that users can ask for personal information from within the Allo app – perhaps to find photos or check their diary – and can it also be part of a group conversation, providing restaurant recommendations or other local information. A ‘Smart Reply’ feature even lets it offer replies to messages based on the content, reducing the need for typing.
Duo will offer call quality of up to 720p HD, depending on the quality of the users’ WiFi or mobile data. One of its options is ‘Knock Knock’, which shows a live preview of the caller before the call is answered.
Both apps will be available from summer 2016.
Additionally, Google announced a new voice-activated home automation product called Google Home. It’ll be released later this year.