Google Allo 2.0 rolling out bringing features it should already have had at launch

Google has updated its chat application Allo on Android to version 2.0 and the update brings along some features that it should have already launched with. Trying to switch your friends and family to yet another messaging client, especially one lacking in features (even compared to Google’s other services), is difficult.

Even though Allo did not make as big an impact with its launch as Google expected it toand  not long after its introduction, Allo’s ranking tanked on the Play Store and App Store,the new features might attract some new users to the app. 

The new features were revealed by Justin Uberti, co-lead for Allo project, through his Twitter account.

The biggest new feature in this update is support for multi-window mode for folks who are running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. With Allo v2.0, users will be able to chat in one window while also working with another app on the same screen. It was quite odd that Allo launched without this functionality, but it’s good that it’s here now.

Apart from multitasking, the update adds features like app shortcuts, gif keyboard, and quick replies to the app. Incognito key alerts and support for landscape mode has also been added to the app with the update.

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App shortcuts feature allows users to start a conversation from the homescreen itself. Quick replies feature allows users to reply to messages through the Google Allo notification itself. Also now, much like Hangouts and Google Messenger, you can reply with your voice or with emojis on Android Wear. Simply tap reply on the notification and either start speaking, or tap Draw Emoji. You can still reply with the automated responses too.

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Also new in this update is support for Direct Replies from the notification shade, which was also a feature first introduced in Android 7. Now when you receive an Allo message, you can simply swipe down on the notification, hit reply, and you’ll be able to send a message without having to jump into the app.

All in all, this seems to be a pretty handy update for Google Allo, especially if you are using Android 7.0 or 7.1. No, it doesn’t come with SMS support, a desktop client, or any other major new features we’ve all been asking for, but it’s a start, right? Athough, the update might not seem significant enough for a full version number jump.

Google’s Allo app was presented as a simple chat option for users by the search giant. However, the chat app did receive criticism, most notably from Edward Snowden, for the lack of user privacy provided by the app. Soon after the launch of Allo, Snowden advised people not to use it and defined it as “A Google app that records every message you ever send and makes it available to police upon request.”

Allo 2.0 adds the following changes, in addition to presumed bug fixes and performance enhancements:

  • Support for toggling chats to monochrome
  • Direct Voice Recognition in Assistant
  • Splash Screen
  • Quick Reply Support
  • Split-screen Support
  • GIF Support in keyboard for 7.1+
  • App Shortcuts for 7.1+
  • Direct share

The update is already rolling out in the Play Store, and as is the case with most updates, depending on your location it may or may not be available yet. But if you can’t wait, you can download it from APKMirror as well. I’m still waiting.

What do you think about these new changes? Have you checked them out yet? Share your thoughts and impressions in the comments below!

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