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[Revolutionary] Google Allo will let you search all of your conversations... inside the app

One thing has always annoyed me about Hangouts: there's no search option. How can you have a messaging service and not allow people to search through their conversations inside the service?! That's beyond comprehension. Of course there's a way to circumvent it by searching through chats in Gmail. But that neither was intuitive nor made sense unless you were familiar with the feature.

According to screenshots we've received from a test preview version of Allo, Google's new messaging app doesn't suffer from that silly limitation. Search is well implemented and it's universal throughout the app. There's a search icon on the top right of the main screen that lets you look for a contact/group's name (in case you have lots of chats and need to quickly find a specific person/group) or any word(s) inside a chat.

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[Update] Media sharing on Allo: GIFs, compression, annotation, and some limitations

When talking to a contact on Google's upcoming Allo messaging application, there are a few different types of attachments you can send. We've already discussed voice messages and stickers, but you can also share your current location, a photo or video taken instantly with your camera, and also media files taken from your camera roll. Unfortunately, sending other types of files like music or documents doesn't seem to be possible - at least not with the test preview version of the app that we're basing this information on.

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Google Allo's voice messaging interface looks awesome, with an eery resemblance to WhatsApp's

Google Allo is clearly one of the most audacious apps to be released by the company in recent times. Not only is it a departure from what Google has long been invested in doing with Hangouts, but it's also trying to catch up in one swift release with competing messaging apps that have been around the block for many years and have had time to perfect their approach.

So it seems logical that the Allo team got some "inspiration" from other messaging services. I can think of a couple of reasons why many of the screenshots we've obtained of Allo eerily resemble WhatsApp — and maybe other messaging apps too (I wouldn't know, I only use WhatsApp so it's the only one I can compare these against).

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Unlike Hangouts, Allo lets you delete messages from your chat history

Aside from the privacy of Incognito chats in Google's upcoming Allo app, there's one more way you can save yourself from embarrassment if you sent or received something that you don't want to stay in your chat's history: delete.

Based on the screenshots we've obtained from people testing a preview version of Allo, it looks like you'll be able to select any message (no multiple select yet we're told) and just delete it from the chat's history.

The top bar switches to show share, forward, copy, and delete options for a selected message, an interface that reminds me a lot of WhatsApp. In the first screenshot below (leftmost), "Message 3" is selected — you can tell because it looks a tad darker than the others.

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Condoms, butts, and nipples: A first look at some of Google Allo's hilarious sticker packs

With Google Duo already released and working well, and rumors of Nougat coming on August 22nd, it's only a matter of time before we have Google's Assistant and its messaging app Allo in our hands.

In the meantime, what we have here is an early look at one of Allo's features: sticker packs. From the screenshots, it looks like Allo will come with 3 packs installed by default and others can be added later.

google-allo-stickers-1 google-allo-stickers-2 google-allo-stickers-3

There are 24 additional packs available in different styles and from different designers. As far as we can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own sticker packs from a URL or a Zip file, but that may or may not change in the future.

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Allo and Duo's new app icons are much nicer, more consistent with other Google products

After reading that title, you may already be thinking to yourself "but Google already changed the Allo and Duo icons once, didn't they?" And yes, they did, around two months ago. Those icons were, to put it gently, dull. To put it less than gently? They kind of sucked. I can't think of a single app on the Play Store published by Google that incorporates the product wordmark into the icon aside from Android Pay and Google+, and the latter is arguable.

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Weekend poll: do you think Google Allo should replace Hangouts?

Google Allo is scheduled for a summer release, and recent changes to the app's iconography on the Play Store have brought back discussions on just what purpose the app really serves. With Hangouts probably being one of the most oft-derided Google products in existence, a replacement - even though Allo isn't technically replacing Hangouts - might be welcome. Or it might not: many Hangouts users would rather Google revamp that platform with Allo-like features instead of just releasing yet another chat app. How Allo and Hangouts will coexist remains unclear at this point - will Hangouts languish as Allo becomes Google's favored chat platform?

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Google changes the Allo and Duo icons in the Play Store

When Google announced its new communication apps Allo and Duo at I/O 2016, it said that they were coming this summer. With June 21 nearly upon us, the countdown until the quarter of the release is starting in most of our heads. And right on queue, Google seems to be getting ready too. Since the app listings are available on the Play Store, but only under pre-order, all we can keep an eye on is the description, screenshots, and app icons.

The latter have changed for both apps from when you first saw them. When Allo was demo'ed at I/O, it had a red icon with white letters (as seen here), but once it made it onto the Play Store, it switched to a light grey background with red letters (see here).

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A chat app with the same name as Google's Allo was mysteriously delisted from the Play Store (in the US)

When Google announced its new chat app Allo, the first thing many people did was go to the Play Store and search for the term "Allo." To their surprise, perhaps, there was a shockingly on-point result: a chat app named Allo Group Voice Chat. This seemed... problematic for Google's new chat platform trademark, to say the least. We asked both Google and [not-Google-]Allo what was being done about this and we haven't heard anything since late May.

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