22 Sep 2016

Google Allo vs WhatsApp: How they are similar, how they are different

Google's much talked about messaging app Allo is finally here. It is the second part of Google's new messaging plan with the Duo, a video calling app, being the first half. Now, there are a number of messaging apps in the market, with various features and unique ways to go about messaging. The Allo resembles WhatsApp most and that we are sure is by design because WhatsApp is the world's top messaging app. Obviously people find a lot of merit in WhatsApp and hence Google has modelled Allo after it.
Google had announced the Allo and Duo at the I/O in May 2016. While Duo was launched on August 16, the company on Wednesday rolled out Allo for both iOS and Android users. It is a new smart messaging app that lets you do more than just chatting. Google Allo can help you make plans, find information, and be more expressive in chat. The phone-based app is free and available in the Play Store.

While the cool AI functionalities of the app are a big threat to many, it is the popular app WhatsApp that needs to worry more.

Almost similar

Though Allo looks way more interesting than WhatsApp, there many similarities between the two. Like WhatsApp, Allo too requires your phone number to activate the app. This means that you cannot use the same Allo account on two different phones. Both can be used to share images, videos, voice messages and stickers.

User of the both the apps can draw over the images using the given pen tool. Though we must admit that Allo is richer in terms of stickers as it comes with large number of sicker packs to choose from. Both also have the Quick Reply from Notifications feature, although you cannot type your reply in the case of Allo. You only opt from what the smart virtual assistant inbuilt inside the app gives you. The AI will give you suggestions for reply and you need to choose from it. Both apps have the option to create group chats and even mute or delete them.

But there are differences

The biggest difference is the smart AI in Allo. While WhatsApp is a simple-looking app with basic features, Allo allows you to do lot more than just chat. The Google Assistant support in Allo lets you search hotels, flights, movie halls and lot of other things directly from the app.

While both apps assure end-to- end encryption for the chats, Allo allows selective end-to-end encrypted chats, which means through its Incognito chat mode you can select the contact you wish to chat with in incognito mode. This chat will be encrypted as well as the chat history will disappear after you have finished the talk when you have set an expiration period. You can set your expiration period for the chats, ranging from 5 seconds to maximum one week. The chat will expire once the conversation is over. In case, you have switched off your expiration period, the chats won't disappear.

Text formatting options are also different for the two. While in WhatsApp you can bold, italicise or strikethrough your text, Allo lets you increase or decrease the text size by sliding the send button up and down respectively.

But at the same time, WhatsApp also allows a user to make calls directly from the app using the internet connection. On Allo this functionality is missing, even though on Google's other chat app -- Hangouts -- it is available.

So, Allo or WhatsApp

Allo appears to better, at least in terms of design, functionalities and cool features. Though WhatsApp has the advantage of being the most popular chat app in the world. Everyone already uses it. So you will find everyone already on it. And that is also the biggest problem for Allo. People use apps to chat with other people. If they find their friends on Allo, they will use it. But if they don't, WhatsApp will continue to rule the roost. It is all about how fast Google can bring users to Allo. But as an app, it surely is a well-made chat app.
Source - India today

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