Is Edward Snowden right about Google Allo?"....Bringing all the richness of Google right into your chat..." and "...End-to-End Encrypted..." were the two things that caught my attention when Google announced its new social messaging app, Google Allo, in its I/O 4 months back.
I was fully contended with Whatsapp and felt no need to download another one. But the Smart Reply feature, bringing Google Assistant's highly sophisticated prediction algorithms into use directly, looked promising. This ensured the upper hand to Google over Whatsapp. It seemed that Google has almost everything that Whatsapp and most other messaging apps have, with the obvious addition of Google's Assistant.
But I was fooled by the hype for sure, if not cheated.
Little did I realise that Google Assistant isn't available in Incognito Mode.
On a personal note, I feel Google Allo has just brought together Google now's intuition, Facebook Messenger's interface and Whatsapp's encryption without taking the effort to actually integrate them together.
How is Google Allo different?
1. Google Assistant- I do admit it is a wonderful concept. It claims to help friends book tickets to a movie together, find a cool restaurant, check out the latest shows etc without actually leaving the app. I tried a few of those and really liked it, especially sharing and watching YouTube videos on the app itself - No need to switch apps. It even shows your photos from Google Photos, if you just type show my photos.
2. Smart reply - It is similar to the one that's there in GMail and Inbox. Truth to be said, I never used it then and the preview edition of Google Allo doesn't do any better.
3. In-app games - This reminds of Hike. The games are surely worth a try.
4. Whisper-Shout - Well, it saves you from having to type in all caps.
Do you feel that the above features are really worth the slight reduction in our privacy? (Well atleast that's what the Google spokespersons feel). Edward Snowden surely thinks otherwise. He thinks it's just another Google app that records every message that you send.
End-to-end encryption in plain words means that your chats do not get stored in a readable format in their servers. Why would someone let their chats be read by anybody?
But then we have already been doing that since the start by using Facebook Messenger. Messenger isn't end-to-end encrypted, Whatsapp is !
What do you feel?