Android Messages

MWC 2019

Allo is going away early next month, but Google is looking to preserve some of its core features. At Mobile World Congress the search giant announced that its RCS-enabled messaging client Android Messages is picking up Google Assistant integration.

Assistant will start showing suggested recommendations around movies, restaurants, and the weather in one-on-one or group chats.

Google was quick to point out that Messages will rely on on-device AI to offer contextual suggestions, with information going out to Google's servers only when you hit a link within the recommendations. Even then, the company will only see information pertinent to the suggestion, and not the conversation itself. You'll also be able to call up Assistant at any point with a long press of the home button within Messages.

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As for when you'll be able to use the feature, Google says the integration will go live for English users around the globe over the coming months. Google never got any momentum with Allo — which is why the app is going away — but the company has been steadily adding features to Messages to transform it into a viable replacement. Messages picked up a dark theme, and a spam protection feature at the end of 2018, and the Assistant integration should go a long way in turning the service into a robust messaging platform.

Do you use Android Messages regularly? What do you make of the upcoming Assistant integration?

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