Google doubles down on messaging, video calls with Allo and Duo


Google is set to take on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with its brand new messaging app that looks even better than Google Hangouts.

It includes Google Assistant integration that will allow you to make table bookings from the conversation you've been having with your friends.

You can ask questions within the app and Google Assistant will drop in responses as well. For example, ask "how is my team doing?" and it will bring in the latest results of your favorite sports team.


Allo also allows you to play games within your chat window as well. Type in "let's play a game" and it will bring in games for you to play with your friends.

Brand new messenger

If you include photos within your chat, Allo will spot what the image is and include responses before you've even typed anything out.

Allo brings in an Incognito Mode to chat, which includes end-to-end encryption, message expiration and private notifications. If you shut down the chat it'll be deleted and gone forever, which is perfect for private conversations.


Allo also comes with Smart Reply built-in, which means it will get used to how you type and tailor your autocorrect and predictive typing depending on how you usually speak.

You can also change the sizes of your messages to convey emotion. Bring down a slider and it'll shrink your messages to make them seem quieter or bring it up and you'll look like you're shouting.


Allo will work on both iOS and Android but as for a launch we only know that it'll be in the summer. It'll connect with your phone number directly, like how WhatsApp works now.

This comes a few days after Google released the Gboard keyboard for iPhone that allows you to search within any app without having to leave what you are already doing.

Knock-knock, it's Duo

Google has also announced Duo, its take on video calling, as a compliment to Allo.

The app is a one-on-one video messaging app akin to FaceTime or Skype that emphasizes encryption and reliability, even in low signal areas.

Video calling, the Google way

Duo also has a feature called Knock-Knock, which allows callers to send a short video to the recipient before they pick up, allowing them to learn a bit more of who - or what - to expect on the other end.

Duo will be out this summer for Android and iOS alongside Allo.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.