The app uses phone numbers as identifiers, and allows users to exchange messages, files, voice notes and images. It includes a virtual assistant, a feature that generates automatic reply suggestions, and an optional encrypted mode known as incognito mode. Users can resize messages and add doodles and stickers on images before sending them.
Before launch, Google touted strong privacy in the app, with particular emphasis on messages stored "transiently and in non-identifiable form". However, at launch, privacy was significantly rolled back, with Google now keeping logs of messages indefinitely (or until the user deletes messages) in an effort to improve the app's "smart reply" feature.
A screenshot of Allo, showing the "smart reply" feature
|Initial release||September 21, 2016|
|Available in||10 languages|
List of languages
English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
Allo was announced at Google's developer conference on May 18, 2016. At the time, Google said that it would release Allo in summer 2016. Google launched the app on September 21, 2016. During the unveiling of Google's Pixel smartphone in October 2016, it announced that Allo will be pre-installed on the Pixel phones, along with its sister app, Google Duo. In February 2017, a tweet by Google's Vice President of Communications Nick Fox showed a screenshot of Allo running as a web app, along with the words: "Still in early development, but coming to a desktop near you..." A further tweet from Fox in May stated that the web client was "a month or two from public release."
In April 2018, it was reported that Google would be "pausing" development of Allo. Anil Sabharwal, the new head of the communications group at Google, stated that its employees will work primarily on its implementation of the carrier-based Rich Communication Services (RCS) Universal Profile, under the branding "Chat". This will be implemented within the Android Messages app used for SMS.
In December 2018, Google announced they would end support for Allo in March 2019. A final update to the app allowed users to export chat messages from Allo. The Allo service shut down completely on March 14, 2019, with its homepage recommending users to try Google's Messages app as an alternative.
Allo is based on phone numbers, not by social media or email accounts. Allo's "Smart reply" feature uses Google's machine learning technology to suggest a reply to the last message, which can be selected from a few options. The feature also analyzes images sent to the user in order to suggest responses. Similar to the smart reply feature seen in Google's Inbox app, it learns from the user's behaviour to adapt its suggestions over time. Allo is one of the apps that support Google Assistant, a virtual assistant that allows users to ask questions and receive answers in a two-way conversational nature. Additional features include "Whisper Shout", which allows the user to increase or decrease the size of a message to represent volume, and the ability to draw on photos before sending them.
In November 2016, Google introduced Smart Smiley, a feature that suggests emojis and stickers depending on the mood of the message. Smart Smiley also shows suggestions when starting a new conversation. In addition, background themes for chats were added at the same time.
In March 2017 a GIF library was added in the compose bar, as well as easier one-tap access to the Google Assistant, and animated emoji. Also in March was an update that let Android users send various types of files, including PDFs, documents, APKs, ZIP archives, and MP3 tracks through Allo. In May, the app was updated to allow users to backup and restore chats, added an Incognito mode for group chats, and introduced previews for links. Later the same month, Fast Company reported that Google updated Allo to add cartoon stickers on selfie photos, powered by artificial intelligence technology capable of producing "563 quadrillion face" animations. Complementing selfie stickers, Google also launched "selfie clips", short looped videos of the user's face. In June, the ability to make Google Duo video or audio calls directly from Allo chats was included. The following month saw message reactions being added, where users can tap on a heart below messages received. An in-chat translation feature appeared to some users in version 17 and rolled out to all in version 18, the latter of which was released in September. Group chat controls, which can be switched on for new group chats, were added in November 2017. In version 25, automatic transcriptions for audio messages appeared, though this can be disabled in settings.
Incognito mode is an optional mode that includes expiring chats, private notifications, and end-to-end encryption. For encryption, the app uses the Signal Protocol. Incognito mode does not include any Smart Reply or Google Assistant features. When the user receives a sticker from a sticker pack that they do not already have installed on their device, the app will retrieve the sticker from Google's servers using security, but not end-to-end encryption.
Following Allo's introduction at Google I/O, Google was criticized by security experts and privacy advocates for having the end-to-end encryption turned off by default, which they argue leaves the app open to government surveillance. Edward Snowden, whistleblower and former NSA contractor, criticized the app on Twitter, saying that "Google's decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe."
Thai Duong, a co-lead of Google's product security team, wrote in a personal blog post that he would push for the addition of a setting that would let users have the encryption on all the time. However, he later retracted the statement.
When Allo was first introduced, its developers talked about storing non-incognito messages only "transiently and in non-identifiable form". At launch, Google revealed that they would instead store all non-incognito messages indefinitely (or until the user deleted them) in order to improve the built in "smart reply" feature. Russell Brandom of The Verge commented that "the decision will have significant consequences for law enforcement access to Allo messages. By default, Allo messages will now be accessible to lawful warrant requests, the same as message data in Gmail and Hangouts".
Reports surfaced in March 2017 that a bug with the Google Assistant in the Allo app would accidentally share results in a conversation from an individual's search history, despite the search not being previously mentioned by the other chat participant or previously in the conversation. Google acknowledged the issue, and stated that it had been fixed.
Actions on Google is a platform allowing developers to create software applications known as "Actions" that extend the functionality of the Google Assistant on devices such as the Google Home smart speaker and the Google Pixel smartphone and on the Google Allo mobile app. Actions for Google includes toolkits, tutorials, and other community resources.Developers can build two types of Actions. Direct Actions are simple; according to 'The Verge': "ask for information, get an answer. Ask to turn off the lights, the lights turn off. Ask to play a song, and it plays. Conversation Actions, in contrast, are more back and forth. " Conversational Actions use tools from Dialogflow, a company that Google bought and whose tools are integrated into Actions for Google. More advanced developers are able to develop directly against the API, and a SDK for Node.js is also available.As of April 2017 there were more than 175 Actions for Google Assistant, including ones from Uber, The Motley Fool, NPR One, NBC News, and Domino's Pizza. The availability was further extended beyond the Google Home space into Android and iOS.Allo
Allo may refer to:
Google Allo, an AI-based messaging app, made by Google
Allo, Navarre, a town in Spain
allo-, a prefix used in linguistics to form terms for variant forms
'Allo, a form of HelloComparison of instant messaging clients
The current landscape for instant messaging involves cross-platform instant messaging clients that can handle one or multiple protocols so that internet users can communicate with multiple users at the same time. The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of instant messaging clients. See the individual products' articles for further information. External links may lead to extensions that add a feature to a client.Curve25519
In cryptography, Curve25519 is an elliptic curve offering 128 bits of security and designed for use with the elliptic curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH) key agreement scheme. It is one of the fastest ECC curves and is not covered by any known patents. The reference implementation is public domain software.The original Curve25519 paper defined it as a Diffie–Hellman (DH) function. Daniel J. Bernstein has since proposed that the name Curve25519 be used for the underlying curve, and the name X25519 for the DH function.Double Ratchet Algorithm
In cryptography, the Double Ratchet Algorithm (previously referred to as the Axolotl Ratchet) is a key management algorithm that was developed by Trevor Perrin and Moxie Marlinspike in 2013. It can be used as part of a cryptographic protocol to provide end-to-end encryption for instant messaging. After an initial key exchange it manages the ongoing renewal and maintenance of short-lived session keys. It combines a cryptographic ratchet based on the Diffie–Hellman key exchange (DH) and a ratchet based on a key derivation function (KDF) like e.g. a hash function and is therefore called a double ratchet.
The developers refer to the algorithm as self-healing because under certain conditions, it disables an attacker from accessing the cleartext of messages ("the communication") after having compromised a session key. This condition is that between the compromise of the key and the communication in question, there has been at least one message which was not tampered with by the attacker. This effectively forces the attacker to intercept all communication between the honest parties, since he loses access as soon as one uncompromised message is passed between them. This property was later named Future Secrecy, or Post-Compromise Security.End-to-end encryption
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service – from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.In many messaging systems, including email and many chat networks, messages pass through intermediaries and are stored by a third party, from which they are retrieved by the recipient. Even if the messages are encrypted, they are typically only encrypted 'in transit', and are stored in decrypted form by the third party. This allows the third party to provide search and other features, or to scan for illegal and unacceptable content, but also means they can be read and misused by anyone who has access to the stored messages on the third party system, whether this is by design or via a backdoor. This can be seen as a concern in many cases where privacy is very important, such as persons living under repressive governments, whistleblowing, mass surveillance, businesses whose reputation depends on its ability to protect third party data, negotiations and communications that are important enough to have a risk of targeted 'hacking', and where sensitive subjects such as health, sexuality and information about minors are involved.
End-to-end encryption is intended to prevent data being read or secretly modified, other than by the true sender and recipient(s). The messages are encrypted by the sender but the third party does not have a means to decrypt them, and stores them encrypted. The recipient retrieves the encrypted data and decrypts it themselves.
Because no third parties can decipher the data being communicated or stored, for example, companies that use end-to-end encryption are unable to hand over texts of their customers' messages to the authorities.Google
Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who became the CEO of Alphabet.
The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides), email (Gmail/Inbox), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo, Duo, Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), note-taking (Google Keep), and photo organizing and editing (Google Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and it released multiple hardware products in October 2016, including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset. Google has also experimented with becoming an Internet carrier (Google Fiber, Project Fi, and Google Station).Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services also figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil" until the phrase was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018.Google Assistant
Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices. Unlike the company's previous virtual assistant, Google Now, Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.
Assistant initially debuted in May 2016 as part of Google's messaging app Allo, and its voice-activated speaker Google Home. After a period of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it began to be deployed on other Android devices in February 2017, including third-party smartphones and Android Wear (now Wear OS), and was released as a standalone app on the iOS operating system in May 2017. Alongside the announcement of a software development kit in April 2017, the Assistant has been, and is being, further extended to support a large variety of devices, including cars and third party smart home appliances. The functionality of the Assistant can also be enhanced by third-party developers.
In 2017, Google Assistant was installed on more than 400 million devices.Users primarily interact with Google Assistant through natural voice, though keyboard input is also supported. In the same nature and manner as Google Now, the Assistant is able to search the Internet, schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to identify objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs.
At CES 2018, the first Assistant-powered smart displays (smart speakers with video screens) were announced, with the first one being released in July 2018.Google Duo
Google Duo is a video chat mobile app developed by Google, available on the Android and iOS operating systems. It was announced at Google's developer conference on May 18, 2016, and began its worldwide release on August 16, 2016. It is also available to use via Google's Chrome browser on desktop and laptop computers.
Google Duo lets users make video calls in high definition. It is optimized for low-bandwidth networks. End-to-end encryption is enabled by default. Duo is based on phone numbers, allowing users to call someone from their contact list. The app automatically switches between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. A "Knock Knock" feature lets users see a live preview of the caller before answering. An update in April 2017 lets users worldwide make audio-only calls.
In an email sent to Android phone manufacturers on October 5, 2016, Google announced that, starting December 1, 2016, Google Duo replaced Hangouts within the suite of Google apps Android phone makers must pre-install on devices, with Hangouts instead becoming an optional app for phone makers to pre-install.In October 2017, Google Duo was integrated into Google Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages on the Pixel, Nexus, and Android One phones. This integration will be brought to other Android phones and carriers in the near future.Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by Google which includes messaging, video chat, and VOIP features. It replaces three messaging products that Google had implemented concurrently within its services, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger (formerly: Huddle), and Hangouts, a video chat system present within Google+. Google has also stated that Hangouts is designed to be "the future" of its telephony product, Google Voice, and has already integrated some of the capabilities of Google Voice into Hangouts. Users can be messaged by their Google+ accounts. In March 2017 Google announced Hangouts would be developed into a product aimed at business users with the Hangouts brand divided into two main products: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Google announced plans in 2019 to shut down Hangouts "Classic" and transition enterprise G Suite customers to Hangouts Chat.List of Google apps for Android
The list of Google apps for Android lists the mobile apps developed by Google for its Android operating system. All of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.List of Google products
The following is a list of products and services provided by Google.M (virtual assistant)
M was a virtual assistant by Facebook, first announced in August 2015, that can automatically complete tasks for users, such as purchase items, arrange gift deliveries, reserve restaurant tables, and arrange travel. As of April 2017, it is available to about 10,000 users. It works inside the Facebook Messenger instant messaging service.When a user makes a request for M, it uses algorithms to determine what the user wants. If M doesn't understand, a human takes over the conversation, unbeknownst to the user. This allows M to learn.Alex Lebrun runs the project, which began in 2015, and which in April 2017 the MIT Technology Review called "successful".In January 2018, Facebook announced that they would be discontinuing M. The company stated that what they learned from M would be applied to other artificial intelligence projects at Facebook.Messaging apps
Messaging apps (a.k.a. "Social messaging" or "chat applications") are apps and platforms that enable messaging, many of which started around social networking platforms, but many of which have now developed into broad platforms enabling status updates, chatbots, payments and conversational commerce (e-commerce via chat).
Some examples of popular messaging apps include WhatsApp, China's WeChat and QQ Messenger, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Korea's KakaoTalk, Google's Hangouts, Blackberry Messenger, and Vietnam's Zalo. Slack focuses on messaging and file sharing for work teams. Some social networking services offer messaging services as a component of their overall platform, such as Facebook's Facebook Messenger, along with Instagram and Twitter's direct messaging functions.Messaging apps are the most widely used smartphone apps with in 2018 over 1.3 billion monthly users of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, 980 million monthly active users of WeChat and 843 million monthly active users of QQ Mobile.Over-the-top media services
Over the top (OTT) is a term used to refer to content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to viewers over the Internet, bypassing telecommunications, multichannel television, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.The term is most synonymous with subscription-based video on demand services that offer access to film and television content (including existing series acquired from other producers, as well as original content produced specifically for the service), including Amazon Video, fuboTV, Hulu, Netflix, Now TV, Sling TV, MercTV, and Sky Go as well as a wave of "skinny" television services that offer access to live streams of linear specialty channels similar to a traditional satellite or wireline television provider, but streamed over the public Internet, rather than a closed, private network with proprietary equipment such as set-top boxes.
Over the top services are typically accessed via websites on personal computers, as well as via apps on mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), digital media players (including video game consoles), or televisions with integrated smart TV platforms.Rich Communication Services
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is richer, provides phonebook polling (for service discovery), and can transmit in-call multimedia.
It is also marketed as Advanced Messaging, Advanced Communications, Chat, joyn, Message+ and SMS+.Signal (software)
Signal is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos. Its mobile apps can also make one-to-one voice and video calls, and the Android version can optionally function as an SMS app.Signal uses standard cellular mobile numbers as identifiers, and uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users. The applications include mechanisms by which users can independently verify the identity of their messaging correspondents and the integrity of the data channel.The clients are published as free and open-source software under the GPLv3 license. The server code is published under the AGPLv3 license. In February 2018, the non-profit Signal Foundation was launched with an initial funding of $50 million.Signal Protocol
The Signal Protocol (formerly known as the TextSecure Protocol) is a non-federated cryptographic protocol that can be used to provide end-to-end encryption for voice calls, video calls, and instant messaging conversations. The protocol was developed by Open Whisper Systems in 2013 and was first introduced in the open-source TextSecure app, which later became Signal. Several closed-source applications claim to have implemented the protocol, such as WhatsApp, which is said to encrypt the conversations of "more than a billion people worldwide". Facebook Messenger also say they offer the protocol for optional "secret conversations", as does Google Allo for its "incognito mode".
The protocol combines the Double Ratchet algorithm, prekeys, and a triple Diffie–Hellman (3-DH) handshake, and uses Curve25519, AES-256, and HMAC-SHA256 as primitives.Virtual assistant
A virtual assistant or intelligent personal assistant is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on verbal commands. Sometimes the term "chatbot" is used to refer to virtual assistants generally or specifically accessed by online chat (or in some cases online chat programs that are exclusively for entertainment purposes). Some virtual assistants are able to interpret human speech and respond via synthesized voices. Users can ask their assistants questions, control home automation devices and media playback via voice, and manage other basic tasks such as email, to-do lists, and calendars with verbal commands. As of 2017, the capabilities and usage of virtual assistants are expanding rapidly, with new products entering the market and a strong emphasis on voice user interfaces. Apple and Google have large installed bases of users on smartphones. Microsoft has a large installed base of Windows-based personal computers, smartphones and smart speakers. Amazon has a large install base for smart speakers.