The US company has released a new text messenger for smartphones. If you want to use all the functions, you have to let Google read along.
Messenger has been a construction site at Google for years Photo: dpa
Google has released its smartphone messenger Allo in the United States. In Europe, the app is to appear on Thursday. Allo is, on the one hand, a normal chat program: Users can send each other messages and pictures. The app includes a variety of emojis and stickers. In addition, photos can be painted before sending. Audio messages cannot be sent via Allo.
On the other hand, Google also relies on artificial intelligence in the app: Allo includes a chat bot – an AI assistant that you can talk to. You can also ask it questions within a conversation with friends, which it then answers. However, the Allo Assistant can only be used in English for the time being. According to Google, other languages will follow.
In addition, the bot offers pre-formulated answer options when chatting. It is even supposed to recognize things in pictures. If a photo is sent, Allo also tries to present suitable answers. However, Google currently describes the assistant as a "preview version" – so there still seem to be some bugs in the program.
Long-term success is doubtful
In order for the assistant to work, Google has to read the messages of the users. While even WhatsApp now relies on end-to-end encryption, this is why it is not activated by default in Allo. It is possible to encrypt conversations in Allo. However, you can then no longer access the assistant.
Google has been trying to establish its own Messenger app for years. Without much success so far. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp dominate the market with over a billion users each. It is doubtful that Allo will change anything. At the moment, the Google Assistant seems more like a nice gimmick.
Anyway, Google is not the only company experimenting with the feature. Facebook, for example, introduced bots for its own Messenger several months ago.