Google launches ‘Allo’ messaging app

In case you haven’t heard, Allo – Google’s AI-assisted messaging app – launched today (well, technically late last night).

But that is a promise Google breaks.

Allo relies on the encryption protocol used by Signal, which Snowden has vouched for as a private messaging app, but in Allo it is only active when users are in Incognito Mode.

Snowden had told people to avoid Allo back in May as well.

Edward Snowden posted several tweets in the criticism of the app, defining it as “A Google app that records every message you ever send and makes it available to police upon request”.

Now, imagine a situation where you are able to directly chat with Google through its own smart messaging app which also doubles up as your personal chat assistant.

In terms of basic design and feel, Allo, at first glance, seems to have followed the path of WhatsApp – now the top messaging app in the world. At first I was pretty excited, at least for Allo, which initially seemed like it would be a decent iMessage competitor for Android. It had promised something else in May and it is delivering something else.

Allo is built with three of Google’s technical domains of expertise: search, natural language processing and machine learning. But if you’re really looking to protect your privacy, maybe just drop off the grid? However, there has been controversy over how the application stores the data and allows privacy. “You can delete single messages or entire conversations in Allo”, a Google spokesperson said. The Google Allo also assists you by answering all kinds of queries.

Allo is basically an AI-based app and AI is an information-hungry software.

Allo’s launch very much came and went, but not before introducing a very nifty – or depending on how you look at it, annoying – feature.

Of course, whether that does satisfy those who are put off by the app’s initial level of functionality and style, remains to be seen.

Some of the features of Google Allo include Smart Reply which can help people respond quicker even as they are on-the-go.

But Google has now backed off on those claims, saying that messages will be stored on Google’s servers by default.

Having said that, the incognito mode of Google Allo has a downside to it too. All messages passing through these two services, are end-to-end encrypted by default. They also stated that if they were to have kept messages for a shorter amount of time, it would have been a concession to privacy in its new app. Once the set time is over, the messages will vanish.

Google has created a decent mobile messaging app, one that adeptly handles numerous core features associated with messaging apps while also leveraging Google’s strengths in artificial intelligence and natural language analysis. You can prioritize your messages thru their notification sounds.

In an industry dominated by dozens of messaging Apps including Whatsapp, Telegram and Messenger, it takes more than a few gimmicks to penetrate the user spectrum.

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