Sunday , May 27 2018

Google announces a couple of updates for Allo; quick-reply and multi-tasking improvements


Google has announced on Twitter overnight that it has released a couple of updates for its Allo messenger app, including the ability to quick-reply from the notification (as shown above), and chatting in split-screen using the new multi-tasking feature found in Android Nougat.

While there isn’t a lot of info on either of these at the moment — they’re not enabled in Allo on my device just yet — the two features seem fairly sensible and intuitive. The ability to quick-reply from notifications has been around in other apps for a little while now, including Google’s own SMS app Messenger, and Ausdroid’s messenger of choice, Telegram. Basically, as you can see in the demo screenshot above, you tap the ‘Reply’ button in your Allo notification, and you can type right into it. The reply will then be sent to your recipient without even having to open the app.

Of course, by replying in this manner, you lose some of Allo’s cool features, like the ability to change the font-size of your reply, or send stickers etc, but you can still send emoji using a compatible keyboard.

The ability to use Allo in a split-screen environment will be far more useful on a larger phone (e.g. the Pixel XL) or on a tablet, but it makes the offering just that little bit more appealing.

Keep an eye on the Play Store for an update to Allo to enable these new features.

Google Allo
Google Allo
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Ausdroid Reader

I was just thinking about this… How didn’t this functionality make it into launch? Very strange.

Ausdroid Reader

Allo for me is a weird outing for Google. It’s a nice product and Google Assistant is cool, though they are so “late” coming to the table that to compete with Whatsapp et al they needed to bring something extra to the table. For me, in essence, they needed to bring an “iMessage” equivalent to android and while Allo is all fine, the hurdle like with a lot of niche google products is my circle of friends using it or lack thereof. I assume I or we (tech crowd) are not the target market but it seems that the average… Read more »

Ausdroid Reader

“they needed to bring an “iMessage” equivalent to android”

Absolutely, couldn’t agree more.

Valued Guest

Still useless features. Who cares about those? We need sms and conversation history migration. Google, do you know priority?

Ausdroid Reader

Still Hopeful of SMS… sick of having 3-4 messaging services

Ausdroid Reader

Yup, sms integration is the big thing. I stopped using Hangouts as my main app when they removed SMS support.

Ausdroid Reader

Google removed the ability to display SMS and IM messages from the same person in a single conversation, but SMS support is still there.

Ausdroid Reader

Yeah its pointless having 2 threads from the same person – one for hangouts, one for sms. Which is why I stopped using Hangouts when they did that.

Ausdroid Reader

What did you change to, if you don’t mind me asking? As far as I can tell, it seems like nothing on Android comes close to matching the complete functionality of iMessage?

Ausdroid Reader

SMS – stock google messenger app
IM – whatsapp, fb messenger and now recently Allo (to only 3 contacts who use it)

Ausdroid Reader

Cool, thanks. Looks like I’ll stick to Hangouts for SMS, Facebook Messenger for whoever uses that, and not install or start using anything else.

Allo looks OK from a functionality perspective, but if you have to convince people to install another app in order to use it, I suspect it’s largely doomed to fail. Unless it has some absolutely killer feature that no one else offers.

Valued Guest

For FB messenger, how many threads if you talk to the same person using both sms and FB chat?

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