Google Allo and the Impending Doom of “K”

Allo MVIA while back, Google announced the release of a new messaging app, Allo. Yes, Google has another messaging app, and no, it’s not some magnum opus of Google messaging apps, but it’s getting there. Allo is Google’s platform for integrating artificial intelligence with sending messages, which I’m fairly sure is another way of saying they’re giving us all another way to be lazy bums. Why? For starters, Allo is designed to learn how the user responds to messages and copy it. So, supposing my mother asks me when I’ll be home, Allo will note that I always respond 15 minutes even if I’m going to be less than 3 or at least 30, and it will give me that option. I can then send a prewritten response instead of taking the time to think about and write it. Actually, I suspect Allo might be smart enough to cross reference my location with home and figure it out for me (but that’s strictly speculation).

Even if it can’t solve my problems with timing, Allo can do some pretty snazzy tricks. When someone sends a picture, Allo can recognize objects in the picture and give response suggestions according to the contents.

Should a user want to send a picture, he can doodle on it before sending it. Additionally, so that nobody has to resort to capitalizing letters or using exclamation points, Allo allows users to make text boxes larger or smaller. Perhaps most impressive is the integrated personal assistant. Planning a birthday dinner is suddenly much easier because Google can listen in, so to speak, on the conversation and suggest restaurants. It orders tickets too.

One caveat: There are some (read: Snowden) who are concerned about the security of Allo. Google is not using end-to-end encryption by default, so for privacy users will have to turn it on. PCMag, however, reports that users shouldn’t be too worried. It’s a contest between easily accessible and secure data, and the opt-in offers a choice. In any case, people using Allo will now have time to text more than “K” replies, and that’s something to get excited about.