Native Translation Feature & More Coming To Google's Allo

Google's Allo Android app is set to be updated with a native translation feature and a number of other functionalities in the near future, as suggested by a recent APK teardown of the Allo build 17. The ability to translate messages received from chat participants is presumably powered by the same technology behind Google Translate and allows you to simply press and hold a message in a foreign language in order to have the app present you with an expanded app toolbar that now also houses the option of translating your selection. The finished translation is presented within a Google Assistant bubble and the end product will initially be highlighted on your screen, i.e. the rest of the user interface will be dimmed. While the translation will then replace the original message, selecting it for the second time and opening the built-in toolbar again will bring back the initial text you received.

The code found in the latest build of the app also contains references to a search engine for stickers which would be found in the Sticker section of Allo and either serve as an alternative to the combined search functionality which allows you to quickly discover emoji and stickers or take some load off of that feature by allowing it to focus exclusively on emoji. The experimental search engine relies on content categories which seemingly aren't finalized and hence isn't usable in the current build of the app. Google also seems to be working on a counterpart to Allo's Smart Reply feature, with the new version of the app hinting at what seems like a Smart Query functionality which will suggest three questions or statements as you start typing a message. Finally, the code found in Allo 17 hints at the ability to forward cards to people in a manner that's seemingly identical to forwarding regular messages.

News of upcoming Google Allo features come shortly after the Alphabet-owned company released a Chrome browser client for its instant messaging (IM) app, allowing users to participate in Allo chats using a first-party desktop browser solution nearly a year since the service initially debuted on the Google Play Store. All of the aforementioned features are still highly experimental and not every one of them may end up rolling out worldwide in the near future.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]