Google Allo Joins Messaging App Fray

Google Allo Joins Messaging App Fray
Google's Allo messaging app, launched today, offers a handy search feature but raises privacy concerns.

(CCM) — Google has launched Allo, a messaging app with a built-in Google search bot, but the company has gone back on its pledge not to permanently store users' conversations, according to the BBC. When the messaging app was announced at Google's IO event in May, the company said that messages would be stored "transiently" before automatically being deleted. This was to protect users' privacy and to prevent authorities from being able to demand access to them. But Google has now decided to store user conversations unless they specifically ask for them to be deleted. "Our approach is simple — your chat history is saved for you until you choose to delete it. You can delete single messages or entire conversations," a Google spokeswoman said.

The app's search bot, called Google Assistant, allows users to get answers to questions, get directions, find videos, or get suggestions for nearby restaurants or movies from within the Allo conversation window by prefacing a query with "@google." It is also possible to chat one-on-one with Google Assistant as an alternative to using Google's main search app. Unlike rivals WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the app does not include voice or video calling; this functionality is included in Google's Duo app, which was launched in August.

Image: © Google.