The mass of updates for a wide variety of communication platforms continues for Google. In remarks today at an event in Brazil, Google revealed their latest focus for updates and improvements to their communications platforms targets the Allo and Duo apps. The pair of apps have been widely panned since their launch last year and while the new features revealed today are nice, they probably will not silence the critics wondering just what the purpose of these apps is within Google’s portfolio of messaging platforms.
For Google Allo, the big change announced today is the ability to share documents and files from within the app. When a conversation is underway, users can tap on the Plus button normally used to attach things like pictures, videos or stickers. A new paperclip icon has been added to the graphical menu and is used to attach a file. The possible files that are allowed to be attached include .pdf, .docs, .apk, .zip and .mp3. In addition to those specific filetypes, users can share “documents” which presumably refers to Google app generated documents created with Docs, Sheets or Slides.
In addition to the ability to attach and send files in a conversation, Google is also rolling out a new “Smart Smiley” function for Portuguese speakers in the Brazilian market. Users can tap the new Smart Smiley icon and let Google’s AI algorithms suggest a relevant emoji or sticker based on the context. Google is limiting this to the Brazilian market for now, but presumably as bugs are addressed, this will rollout to the rest of the world over time.
The other app getting attention today is Google Duo, the video calling app from Google. The latest update rolling out starting today in Brazil, with other users around the world getting it in the coming days, is support for audio-only calling. Google says this will make the app more useful as it can be used for audio-only calls when video-calling is not possible or not feasible whether due to a poor connection or a poor environment.
If you have these apps, be on the lookout for the updates being available for your account.