Today at Google’s I/O conference, a new messenger app was announced. This app is frightening. Not frightening in the scary movie type way, no, this is frightening in the typical Google way. How could a messenger app be frightening you may ask? Well, we’ll get to that in a moment. First let’s look at what’s good about it.
It’s a messenger app. Ok, that’s good. It’s not like we need another one of those, but that’s fine.
Apparently it looks good. It should, Google has plenty of money to make things look nice, although you wouldn’t know that after seeing the new Dorito app icons.
It let’s you doodle on images before you send them. That’s nice to have that integrated in to the app.
It comes with emoji’s and stickers. I bet BBM’s are better.
It’s the first Google product to offer end-to-end encryption, although that’s a bit of a story in itself. Google doesn’t really expect or want you to use this. It is an opt in feature, and if you choose to opt-in, by using the “Incognito Mode”, then you lose the gimmick of the app.
The app utilizes “Google Assistant”. Google Assistant is what will be used in Google Home, which will work much like the Amazon Echo. It will work like a bot in the app, answering your questions with personalized answers. It will also learn how you speak to your friends and suggest replies as you chat. I know what you’re thinking. “My BB10 keyboard does the same thing!” I assure you, it’s different. This is not merely your keyboard learning what words you tend to string together, This is Google
spying learning even more about you, and how you interact with your friends. Individually. Personally. See the gif below for an example of how the app shall work.
Frightening isn’t it? Recognizing not only messages, but parts of photos?
Google also announced a separate standalone app for video calls called Duo who’s key feature is “knock knock”, which shows a live video preview of the caller before you answer. Isn’t it cute that you need separate apps for messaging and video chat? Both apps utilize your phone number for the user ID. Ugh.
I can assure you I shall not be utilizing Allo or the unnecessary Duo. And if friends try to invite, I have a simple response to them. “Ping me. I’m on BBM”