Thursday, October 27, 2016

[APK + Teardown] Google Allo 2.0 Updated With Quick Replies, GIF Keyboard Support, Shortcuts And More

 

Today, the Mountain View company has pushed the first big update for Allo, version 2.0, which brings lots of oft-requested features. Aimed at users who are already running Android 7.0+ “Nougat.”

This changelog was posted by  Justin Uberti, the technical lead for Duo and the co-lead of Allo:

  • App shortcuts
  • Landscape mode
  • Quick Reply in Android N
  • Multi-window support in Android N
  • GIF keyboard
  • a11y mode
  • Incognito key alerts

That's it. It’s basically everything that Allo should have when it was released in the first place. 
Talking about App shortcuts, it lets you create a conversation by tapping and holding the icon from the home screen, Quick Reply lets you reply to messages from notification shade itself, multi-window allows you use the app alongside another one in Android Nougat, and a11y is a new accessibility mode.
Also Allo now enables support for sending GIFs via keyboards that support the feature, on Android 7.1 and above. As shown above, sending GIFs with Google Keyboard is very simple and works as expected. On an unrelated note, Google Assistant seems very confused about GIFs.

This update brings Android Wear support for those that are still wearing smartwatches. Just like with Google’s other messaging apps, the companion Android Wear Allo app lets you use your voice to reply or you can also reply with emojis by drawing them. It’s a pretty barebones app, but it’s nice to have either way — and it should have been there from the start.

We digged up the APK and there are some hidden features as well that haven’t shown up yet in the app. There is a new set of fun chat themes, which vary from “Pizza” to “Moon”. Interesting..

Here’s a list of strings we found in teardown evidencing the new feature:
  • <string name=”theme_picker_explanation”>Mix it up. Swipe to find a new one.
  • <string name=”theme_picker_explanation_in_new_conversation”>Swipe to find the perfect one
  • <string name=”theme_picker_header”>Change this theme
  • <string name=”theme_picker_header_in_new_conversation”>Fun chat themes
And here’s a full list of all the different themes we were able to find. There are seemingly 12 of them:
  • <string name=”angles_theme_name”>Angles
  • <string name=”aztec_theme_name”>Aztec
  • <string name=”balloon_dark_theme_name”>Balloons dark
  • <string name=”balloon_light_theme_name”>Balloons light
  • <string name=”clouds_theme_name”>Clouds
  • <string name=”doodles_theme_name”>Doodles
  • <string name=”moon_theme_name”>Moon
  • <string name=”pizza_theme_name”>Pizza
  • <string name=”sorbet_theme_name”>Sorbet
  • <string name=”sprinkles_theme_name”>Sprinkles
  • <string name=”watermelon_theme_name”>Watermelon
  • <string name=”worms_theme_name”>Worms
There’s also an option to quickly call Allo contacts via Duo in the works, but we couldn’t find a function in the app that lets you do that either:


<string name=”action_duo_call”>Call on Duo

Justin Uberti has confirmed today that this feature is indeed in the works.


The update is already rolling out in the Play Store, but if you can't wait, you can download it from APKMirror as well from below :