Apps – Google Trips and Allo

Google pretty much covers everything you may want to do on your phone or laptop. Starting from being the default search bar, Google apps just make work and play that much easier. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s free. Let’s take a look at a couple of new entrants to the Google portfolio.

Google Trips

Google Trips is a collection of tourist maps, restaurant information, transport information, your itinerary and anything else you’d need on a trip, all condensed into one single app on your phone. What’s even better is that all of these features work even when you’re offline, which is a very real possibility when you’re in a foreign locale with a budget data plan.  You don’t need to spend time desperately connecting to the free wifi spots.

What I liked was the expected but natural pickup from my Gmail inbox. As soon as I opened the app after installation, my flight and hotel details for an upcoming holiday were loaded. The app then shows you a lot of details about your destination, information of great use to a traveller – tourist or business. You have quick access to day plans, tips on how to get around and even emergency contacts like local hospitals. Allowing for offline access is a big plus for international travel.

Testing it out on a few popular cities will tell you just how much potential it has. Case in point- Trips guide to Singapore.

So far, only a few cities have been curated with this amount of detail, but the possibilities are endless. Even if the reservation doesn’t come straight to your email (think Airbnb), you can “create” your trip and add the details. Try it out for your next adventure  – I think it could be very useful.

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Google Allo

Someone has to take on Whatsapp, right? So Google is giving it all they’ve got! And it is more than just a messaging app. Allo’s core feature is not the chat option at all, but the good stuff is Google Assistant – a Siri-like Artificial Intelligence based assistant. Apart from using the app to connect with friends, the assistant lets you ask questions and get answers immediately, even in the middle of a chat. It is basically a chattier, smarter version of apps like Google Now.

apps-allo-6apps-allo-5apps-allo-4Another feature that sets Allo apart is its Smart Reply feature, a staple adopted from the Inbox. This feature suggests responses based on your history and saves immense time in typing. Coupled with a few extras like the option to type in the ‘volume’ you intend the conversation to be understood in and the emojis, it is a fun app to have.

Testing out the Assistant was fun and the results were mildly impressive. 

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“Hey, will it rain tomorrow?”

Allo says Yes with a forecast and options to get this every day!

“Hey is the 8 pm Jet flight from Mumbai to Bangalore on time?”

Well, Allo no understand… I got ticket prices from Cleartrip 🙁

“Hey where is St. Marks Hotel?”  I have a meeting there tomorrow.

Ok, that was an easy one for Allo – got directions, phone number to call, the works.

Seems you can also do a lot of stuff with stickers and doodle on photos too.

Don’t see myself moving out of Whatsapp for now but I think I should make good use of this Assistant!

You try it out too.

Both apps are good additions to the collection.

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