Google started updating Allo to version 9.0 recently and those diving into the code for the app found evidence of several features that are not yet enabled. The assumption is that Google will eventually make these available to users, possibly by throwing a server-side switch, but this is not guaranteed. There have been instances in the past where code for a feature was present in one version and then disappeared in a subsequent update. The potential features include a backup mechanism for chats, a quick selfie mode, an incognito mode for group chats, and yes, a sticker pack.
The ability to do backups of Allo chats has been hinted at in the past and the code discovered in this latest update is quite extensive with regard to the feature. Some of the code includes references to restoring backups and the ability of the app to do at least some of the work, in particular restoring images and videos, in the background. The code also indicates backups can be stored on either external storage or to a user’s Google Drive space. Like most backup features, there are numerous options available addressing frequency and the thoroughness of the backups, like whether images are saved. Users will also be able to do things like specify whether the backup process can use cellular data or is limited to Wi-Fi connections.
As far as the quick selfie feature, more references in the code point to this option being available. The quick selfie option will add a camera icon next to the text entry box. Tapping on that will open up the front-facing camera so users can capture a selfie with a quick tap of the shutter button and then return directly to Allo to finish a message that includes the selfie. Some of the code also indicates Google may enable a live preview function for the selfie camera.
The group incognito mode was another feature thought to be coming to Allo and now another string has been discovered giving additional weight to the existence of this feature. The code is a reference to a string called “create_backchannel_group” that is described as “Start group incognito chat”.
Finally, Google appears to be getting ready to add a selfie-generated sticker pack to the app. As described, the selfie-generated stickers sound a bit like Bitmoji for Allo since they are created based on a user’s selfie image of themselves. Once a selfie is taken, Allo will use it to create not just a sticker of the initial image, but an entire series to be used for different feelings and expressions will be generated.
At present all of this code appears to be hidden from end users as no reports have surfaced of anyone being able to actually access the new features.