Conversations load quickly, messages send instantly, and you can send a message so the text either shows up large or small.
(Allo also has some really, really fantastic stickers.) If you're plotting governmental overthrow, you can open an incognito chat, which is both end-to-end encrypted and set to automatically delete after a period of time. It's inside your conversations that Google really inserts itself.
I asked for another option, and got...a web result for "The experience of interacting with the assistant with 200 people can be a bit overwhelming.
It can search for restaurants, check flight statuses, answer questions, translate text, play games, and more ("@google what can you do? It'll set reminders, give directions, tell stupid jokes.
Google becomes another party in your conversation, sharing queries and results so everyone can see.
"We're not trying to create Allo in a way that subsumes every other app," Fox says, "but it can be quite useful as a connective fiber across many things." Quick things like flight status, you can do in Allo, but for booking a whole flight, you'd probably rather look at the Hipmunk chart anyway.
And who in the world wants to buy flowers over chat?
That includes Google Home, Android phones, and more.
"We want it to be a consistent experience across those surfaces, but tuned to the surface as it makes sense." He calls Allo a preview of the Assistant, rather than its grand unveiling. We Chat, Kik, Viber, Line, Telegram, Group Me, i Message, and lots of other apps all have more users than Allo does.
So I tapped it, the button turned the aqua color of my sent messages, and Google and I were off and running.
The Google Assistant is everyone's first friend in Allo.
It's also the most important piece of this new messaging app, which is out today for i OS and Android, because it's precisely the thing Google hopes will separate Allo from the many messaging apps that already exist—all of which are much more popular than Allo.
"We think we're on the cusp of messaging version two," says Nick Fox, who oversees communication products at Google.
You can bring the Assistant into any conversation at any time.