Google Allo and Google Duo: Let’s talk about Google’s new messaging apps

Google announced not one, but two new messaging platforms on Wednesday, adding to the lineup of services it already offers. With so many big platforms already dominating the market (i.e. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger), it’s unclear how Google hopes to foster adoption among smartphone owners. Be that as it may, let’s see what these new services are all about.

First up is Allo, a new messaging app that uses Google’s Knowledge Graph and assistant platform to make conversations smarter. And, as if we weren’t lazy enough, easier, offering canned responses so you don’t have to bother typing out messages to friends and family. Seriously, Allo will analyze pictures in your chat thread and offer smart replies, just as Inbox does for email.

Allo will tie-in to your phone number, so you can message anyone in your contacts. However, because it’s only concerned with your number, you can forget about using it across multiple devices. For whatever reason, Google wants to keep Allo mobile-only, which means Hangouts will likely survive alongside Allo hit this summer.

The second app Google introduced is called Duo, and it’s basically a one-on-one video calling app with a neat trick. One cool feature is called Knock Knock, which shows users a live video preview of a caller before picking up. I’m not sure what the benefit of that is but Google claims it makes calls feel “spontaneous and fun.”

Google says Duo was designed to work well on poor connections and will seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, which means you don’t need to worry about getting cut off.

There is much more to the two new services, which we talk about in the video above.

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