Google Announces Allo and Duo Messenger Apps

It looks as if Google are really getting in on messaging apps now after they announced the release of Allo and Duo at their annual IO developer conference. The two apps both do different things but look to be Google's attempt at private messaging. The announcement of these two apps follows on after the announcement of Spaces before the conference began.

The first app, Allo, looks to work a little like Whatsapp. The app creates an account off of your phone number and provides end-to-end encryption to ensure users privacy. That's where those similarities end though as Google are working hard to make this app their own. For one thing, the privacy is a lot more advanved than other apps. Like in a browser you can open the chat in an incognito mode. When you do this, notifications are discreet and you can choose to automatically delete these private messages after a short period of time. However, this incognito mode is the only way you'll get end-to-end encryption so it still needs a little work. Google will build more privacy features for the app in the future but for now, that is a pretty impressive start. As well as this, you can scale the size of emojis and text easily and there's a practical auto suggest feature. The suggestions don't work in the same way as most, if you're sent a picture of a dog, then the app might suggest that you say cute dog or ask for a recipe if they send you a picture of something they've cooked. These could still be rather annoying, but it's an interesting way to suggest things.

The other app is Duo, which is just a video messaging app that is, once again, connected to your phone number. It also features end-to-end encryption so you don't have to worry about anyone hacking in on your video calls. The app can easily transition from wifi to a mobile network if necessary and it monitors the network quality for the video.
This isn't all though as they've also introduced a feature called Knock Knock, which basically means you can see a quick live stream of the person you're calling before you connect. That is a little creepy and worrying, but I'm hoping that the person you call has to confirm the live stream first or some people could see some things that they really don't want to.

Neither app is actually available yet, but if you search for them on the Google Play store then you'll see that they are coming soon.

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