Google has announced its new instant messaging mobile app on May 18, 2016 at I/O event, but Allo was released on September 21, 2016 for Android and iOS. The application has a virtual assistant and a “Smart Reply” function with which users are able to reply without typing. But, thanks to the new update (version 2.0), the messaging app has received two new features.
First of all, Google Allo v2.0 supports multi-window mode, but it’s available only on devices that run on Android Nougat. This feature allows users to chat in one window and keep the other window on the same screen free to work on another application. Many users who own a Nexus or Pixel device are happy with this addition, although they this it’s a bit odd that this functionality was launched only now.
However, users who have devices running on Marshmallow and older and iOS, have noticed that there’s a new setting that allows them to turn on an option called Monochrome, which will make the text appear more prominent in the messages UI. Instead of seeing blues and yellows around (the default look), you can choose a plain black and white UI.
The other new feature is support for Direct Replies from the notification shade, which Google has introduced firstly in Android 7. This means that, from now on, when you will receive an Allo message, you will no longer need to open the application to reply to it, as you will just swipe down on notification and hit reply.
Unfortunately, this update doesn’t bring SMS support, a desktop client or other features that are available in similar messaging applications, but according to Justin Uberti, the technical lead behind both Allo and Duo, the application supports: App shortcuts, Landscape, N quick reply, N multi-window, GIF keyboard, a11y mode and Incognito key alerts.
Google Allo v2.0 started rolling out to users and it will take a few days until it will reach all phones.
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