Google today took the wraps off two new messaging apps: one for text, one for video.
First up, Allo is the name of Google’s new text-based messaging app. It offers many of the features that you’d expect from a new chat app, like emoji and stickers, and it also offers a Whisper/Shout feature that’ll let you decrease and increase the size of your text by sliding up and down on the Send button.
Also of note is that Allo comes with Google Assistant built in. This means that you can perform Google searches, look up images, and more from directly within the app. App developers can also build support for their app into Allo. For example, you can use OpenTable to book reservations for a restaurant right inside of Allo.
Smart Replies is another big feature of Allo. With it, Google Assistant can analyze images that are sent to you and suggest replies for you. For example, if you’re sent an image of a dog, Google might suggest replies like “Cute dog!”.
You can also have a one-on-one conversation with a Google Assistant bot inside of Allo. You can ask it questions, just like you would with a “Ok Google” or the new Google Home. You can also play games with Google Assistant. For example, Google demoed an emoji game that tasks the user with guessing a movie name by looking at emoji suggestions.
Finally, Google notes that Allo is encrypted by default, but that you can take things a step further if you’d like. Allo includes an Incognito Mode that turns on end-to-end encryption, private notifications, and even expiring chats, a la Snapchat.
The other app shown by Google today is Duo, which is like the video calling counterpart to Allo. With Duo, you can make one-on-one video calls with HD video and audio. Duo will let you make calls over both Wi-Fi and cellular and will seamlessly transfer between the two.
One of the biggest features of Duo is Knock-Knock. With it, you get a live stream of the person that’s calling you before you pick up so that you can get an idea of why they’re calling.
Google says that both Allo and Duo are launching on Android and iOS, and they’re coming this summer.