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Google I/O 2016: Allo and Duo

Earlier today during the Google I/O keynote, Google announced two new communications apps; Allo and Duo.

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Allo is Google’s latest smart messaging app that makes user’s conversations easier and more expressive. Since this will be based off the user’s phone number, users can get in touch with anyone in their contacts.

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Allo has Smart Reply built-in so users can respond to messages without typing a single word. Smart Reply learns over time and will show suggestions that are in the user’s style. It also works with photos, providing intelligent suggestions related to the content of the photo.

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The new Google assistant is featured in Allo, bringing the richness of Google directly into chats. Users can chat one-on-one with the assistant, or call on Google in a group chat with friends. Either way, users no longer have to jump between apps to do things like making a dinner reservation with friends, get up-to-date sports scores, settle a bet, or play a game.

Privacy and security are important in messaging, so following in the footsteps of Chrome, Google created Incognito mode in Allo. Chats in Incognito mode will have end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications, and Google continue to add new features to this mode.

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Duo is a simple, fast one-to-one video calling app for everyone. Like Allo, Duo is based on the user’s phone number, allowing users to reach anyone in their contacts. And its simple interface fades away when users are in a call.

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The main feature of Duo is Knock Knock, which shows users a live video preview of the caller before the user picks up. Knock Knock invites the user into the moment, making calls feel spontaneous and fun.

Duo calls are in crisp HD video (up to 720p) and audio. Google has optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited it gracefully adjusts quality so users are still able to connect. Duo will also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, so users don’t need to worry about what network they’re on. Finally, Duo is also built with privacy and security in mind and all calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted.

Both Allo and Duo will be available this summer on Android and iOS.

About Allistair Lee

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Insider. Allistair has been a tech enthusiast since he was at the age of 15. His current interest includes Android smartphones and tablets, among many other devices.

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