The latest update to Google's chat app, Allo, is now rolling out and includes some pretty big improvements to how users can manage group chats, as well as one other feature for a more personalized sharing experience. To start off with, the update to version 22 makes it possible for users to add admin controls to a chat so that a chat can be managed a bit more aggressively, for those who choose to use the tool. Turning that on is fairly straightforward but only works in new group chats and can't be turned on retroactively. While creating a new group chat, a toggle should appear under the input space for the group name, which turns the admin controls off or on. Switching that on marks the chat's creator as an admin, granting them the rights to change the group name and photo or to kick people out. Those actions can be taken, as always, by accessing the group details page via a tap on either the group name or photo from within a chat. Long-pressing on a person's name on that page will now show options to make them an admin, remove them from the group, or to ban them from the group more permanently.
There has also been a new feature added to the chat interface itself. By tapping the camera icon to the right of the chat input bar and then long-pressing the circular button ordinarily used to snap a quick selfie photo, users will now be able to record and send short selfie videos. The videos are sent just like sending any other piece of media over the service but, since it requires fewer taps, it should be useful for those moments when a sticker, meme, gif, or emoji just doesn't express whatever a given user is looking to say quite well enough.
Unfortunately, the update to version 22 does not include the SMS integration that many users keep asking for and, as with all updates, it could take a while for the features to hit every user on every Android device. In the meantime, anybody interested in checking out Allo for the first time or simply looking to see if the update is available on their device yet can hit the Google Play button below.