A single tweet by Evan Blass, a blogger known for leaking details on smartphones and other technology announcements, has fueled considerable speculation about Google launching its Allo smart messaging app this week.
Blass on Sept. 18 tweeted that Google would roll out the app this week and later followed up with another tweet pinning the launch date as Sept. 21.
Google did not respond immediately to a request for comment from eWEEK and has so far not responded publicly to the flurry of media reports about the supposed launch. However, that is not entirely surprising because Google's usual policy is not to comment on reports that speculate about its product or service announcements.
Google announced Allo earlier this year when releasing its Duo one-to-one video application for Android and iOS-powered phones. The company describes Allo as an application powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology with several features for enabling richer text and video conversations via mobile devices.
Allo is based on the user's phone number and supports capabilities that allow a substantial amount of customization. The application comes with a Smart Reply feature similar to the one supported by Google Inbox, according to the company. The feature is designed to let users respond to text and video messages without having to type a word themselves. It instead offers up suggestions for responding to a message based on the content and context of the incoming message.
For instance, in response to a "Hello," the app would give users the choice of responding with a "Hello" or a 'Hi" or a "What's up" simply by clicking on the response they want.
The application uses machine intelligence to learn and eventually show suggestions that are in tune with the user's personal style.
"For example, it will learn whether you're more of a "haha" versus an "lol" kind of person," Google had noted back in May when it first announced the application. Google claims that the customization will get better the more an individual uses the application.
According to the company, the Smart Reply feature will also offer customized suggestions for responding to photos, based on the content of the photo. "If your friend sends you a photo of tacos, for example, you may see Smart Reply suggestions like "yummy" or 'I love tacos,'" the company said when first introducing the application.
Allo is also integrated with Google assistant, a recently launched technology that lets users interact with their smartphones using voice commands.
Google touts the technology as being capable of understanding the context and intent of questions in helping users get things done faster with their smartphones.
For instance, the company says, it allows users to search quickly for a theater or a restaurant using voice commands and then helps the user navigate to their destinations. The goal is to eliminate the need for users to jump between multiple applications when trying to accomplish tasks like making a dinner reservation or booking an airline ticket, according to the company. The integration between Allo and assistant will allow users to interact with Google Search, Maps, YouTube and Translate from the Allo interface.
Google has said that Allo will support end-to-end encryption to ensure user privacy.