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Google launches Allo instant messenger

Google has begun rolling out Allo – its highly-anticipated instant messaging app. Allo, which was first announced at the Google I/O developer conference in May this year, offers end-to-end encryption and is designed to compete with the likes of WhatsApp.

Included with Allo is the newly-developed Google Assistant. This performs a similar function to Google Now – which is expected to be phased out – albeit with a more friendly, chat-based approach.

Allo has a range of features that have been designed to allow chatters to convey their personalities. These include Ink for drawing on photos, the ability to ‘SHOUT’ or ‘whisper’ by varying the size of text, and Stickers for adding fun icons to conversations.

Allo is currently rolling out via Google Play. Although some people are still being shown the option to preregister, rather than download, the app should become available to an increasing number of markets over the coming hours and days.

There is also cross-platform support for Allo, with an iOS version of the instant messaging client also available.