Wednesday, February 14, 2018

‘Reply’ will bring Smart Replies to Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and other Chat Apps

Google’s AI-powered Smart Reply was first released with its Inbox app. Now, it’s a part of Google Allo and Android Messages (for Project Fi users only) as well. Smart reply offers automated replies, and like any AI-powered feature, it can be correct at times, or off the mark at various instances.

Now, a new app being tested by Area 120, an experimental division within Google, aims to bring smart reply to popular chat apps such as Android Messages (for all users), Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype, and others. The app is named “Reply”, and invitations to test it have been sent out by Area 120.

Google Reply

The key feature of Reply is that it aims to bring smart replies to the next level. It will likely be a standalone app that utilizes a Notification Listener service in order to intercept and replace notifications from existing chat apps. As of now, smart replies aren’t shown in notifications, but with Reply, users will be able to send smart replies directly from the notifications list. The “slightly smarter” part of the promise is that it will, for example, be able to calculate time taken to reach home by analyzing your location.

The other features that Reply brings include Do not disturb. Reply will be able to silence users’ phone when they are driving, and it will also inform people who send a message that the user cannot chat at the moment. Also, when a user gets an urgent message, Reply will ensure that the notification gets the user’s attention even if their phone is silent. Lastly, it has a vacation responder feature that will tell people if users are not working on the basis of checking their calendar.

Reply will work with Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack. Users interested in learning more about the experimental app can choose to fill out this form to receive more information.

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