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area 120

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Google ends its 'Reply' app experiment which brought smart replies to third-party apps

Earlier this year, Google's Area 120 — a division of the company that works on experimental products — pushed out a testing program for an app called "Reply," which added Allo-style, automatically generated smart replies to other messaging apps. That functionality has made its way into other Google apps, with native support for developer implementation of the feature in Android Pie. Based on that success, it appears Area 120 is sunsetting the old Reply app itself.

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Touring Bird is a curated city guide from Google's experimental Area 120

Area 120 is an experimental startup incubator at Google, responsible for projects such as Reply, and its latest output is a new type of travel guide called Touring Bird. It's a website designed with mobile in mind (looking very much like an app) that recommends carefully selected attractions, tours, and activities in 20 cities around the world.

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[Update: Early concept designs revealed] Google is experimenting with a new discovery-focused podcast app called Shortwave

Google has a penchant for repetition. For instance, why have one messaging app when you can have a handful (Allo, Android Messages, Hangouts etc.)? And while that method isn't exactly yielding overwhelmingly positive results, it seems the software giant is taking its approach to podcast platforms now, as well. An incubator for experimental products within Google, Area 120, is quietly developing an audio platform that, according to a recent trademark filing, allows users to "search, access and play digital audio files and to share links to audio files."

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Google is testing 'Reply,' a new app that adds smart replies to popular messaging apps

One of Allo's highlight features is Smart Reply, where the app guesses what you might respond to a message with, and adds a button to send that response. A few other apps have implemented it as well, like Android Messages, but usually not in notifications. Google seems to be testing an app called 'Reply,' which adds smart replies to other messaging apps.

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