WHILE messaging has remained much the same since the SMS days, there has been an overhaul of messaging apps; they now include emojis, stickers, GIFs and shout-outs. Messaging platforms are trying their best to turn themsel-ves into a concierge or a one-stop solution, so that users don’t have to toggle between various apps. With the new messaging app, Allo, launched by Google, Ishaan Gera says that these platforms are expected to see
If there was an award for smartness, Allo would beat every other app hands down. Much like its cousin Duo in the video calling segment, Allo is downright simple. Security can be a concern for Allo users, as unlike others it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default. But the platform is pleasing to look at, features are as easy as WhatsApp. The cherry on the cake is Google Assistant. The Assistant, which comes with voice support, not only provides services like translation, it also takes care of your travel bookings with Google directing you to an airline/hotel website, delivers news and makes location-based searches for restaurants or movies. It also analyses responses from your past chats and conversations to indicate possible replies. In addition to analysing text, Assistant can also analyse photo content and provide a more advanced search service where the user can just ask it to pick out all the photos that feature, for instance, sunsets. Assistant will also remember preferences and give suggestions based on them. Although it is still not close to Messenger services, one can expect Google to catch up soon.
Although Telegram has a dull design as compared to others on the list, the messaging app has to be credited for popularising chatbots. With one of the largest collection of bots, ranging from those that can help you study via quizzes to those that can keep you updated on the news, Telegram comes across as more of a keep-yourself-busy platform rather than a chat one. It has also incorporated a cloud feature which can store messages or media, but the best feature is its secret chat where messages get deleted after a certain time frame. Although not as easy to use as Allo or WhatsApp, Telegram is a good download for those hoping to while away time. The app has recently added games to further user-engagement and compete with the Messenger.
The only all-in-one app amongst the group. Facebook’s offering in the chat domain just doesn’t stop at sending messages; it offers voice and video calling and can compete with the best available apps in those domains as well. While the chat option is predicated on Facebook friends, which is a limitation, Messenger’s chatbots provide everything from cab-booking to food ordering. Moreover, the service allows integration of text messages into the app making it easier to access all your texts in one place. However, one drawback of the Messenger is the difficulty of configuration and the size of the application. Although the new lite version does address those concerns, you have to part with too much inform-ation before you can start using it.