While the majority of the western Google-using tech world awaits Google to finally add the little missing features to Allo, you know Multi-device compatibility, a web client, message restore on set-up- you know the basic features most IM apps have, Google is busy pushing out the less helpful updates, including Stickers and emoji enhancements and wallpapers.
Seriously, Allo has been more than a little dividing, for people who seem to live on one device and rarely go near messaging on a PC Allo could well be a great messaging app, however, I say to those people enjoy setting up your next phone, Google has a surprise for you. For the rest of us, Allo is a great app with excellent promise and features that completely fails to even meet the basic criteria of a messaging platform.
All of that aside, today Google has announced a new update to Allo including auto-suggestion of Stickers and Emoji, sticker previews, custom backgrounds for each chat and the arrival of the Fantastic Beasts sticker pack. With sticker and emoji suggestion you can now click on the “Smart Smiley” button (Google’s nomenclature not mine) and Google will auto-suggest appropriate Stickers and emoji for the content. All Allo related Snark aside, this is a cool feature and shows the true power of adding Google’s AI into the messaging space.
The second new feature allows users to click on a previously received sticker to preview the pack and use one of the pack’s stickers in reply. If you look closely at the stickers below you may detect something magical about them. As part of Google’s marketing deal with Warner Bros for Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the wizarding sticker pack has made its way onto the platform.
Finally, do you find your chats a little same same? Do you want to spice up your Allo experience? If so then custom backgrounds are for you. Following the update, you will be able to apply a theme to each chat you have to give each one a unique look and feel.
From a usability and UI perspective, there are some decent updates that many people will find useful. I know better emoji hunting is definitely something I would like. Whether Allo is an app that meets ALL of your messaging needs or not this is clearly Google’s primary messaging platform for now. That said, it will need some significant updates to prise Telegram out of my hands.
If you haven’t checked out Allo and you’ve got a few family or friends who you only converse with via SMS then try and get them to switch. I have a very small group I communicate with via Allo instead of SMS, as compared to SMS it is better, and while I could have moved them onto Telegram, they are my unknowing Allo guinea pigs.
If you want to try Allo grab it below.
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