The latest update to Google Allo is rolling out this morning. While the messaging app is light on new changes or features, version 24 reveals that the ability to reach people via Google account and email address is in the works. Furthermore, there are several changes to related to the camera.
About APK Teardowns: In this ‘APK teardown,’ we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that was uploaded to the Play Store. When an app (or an APK, to be specific, in the case of Android apps) is decompiled, we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. With that in mind, read on.
Contact via Google account/Gmail address
Since Allo and Duo’s launch, a phone number has served as the primary way for others to contact you and vice versa. However, Duo 22 hinted last month that you may soon be reachable via email when you link your Google account.
That functionality might also be making its way to Allo, according to several new strings found in version 24. Users will be able to “Chat with Gmail contacts,” as well as be found through their “name, email, or phone number” after connecting.
<string name=”forklift_greeting”>Hi %s,</string>
<string name=”forklift_promo_one”>Chat with Gmail contacts</string>
<string name=”forklift_promo_three”>Enjoy a seamless experience across Google services</string>
<string name=”forklift_promo_title”>Do more with Allo</string>
<string name=”forklift_promo_two”>Friends can find you by your name, email, or phone number</string>
Redesigned Group details page with tabs
With the details page in group chats increasingly housing a number of options, including the new admin controls, a simplification was overdue. Google is now redesigning “Group details” with People, Settings, and Shared Media tabs to easily see who’s in the chat, various options, and previously shared content.
<string name=”profile_shared_media_tab”>Shared Media</string>
Meanwhile, version 23 allows us to activate the contact sharing feature we spotted in the previous Allo teardown. Contacts (shared through the .vcf format) will no longer appear as a regular file for users to download. Rather, recipients will immediately see the number and other contact details, with a shortcut to start a new Allo chat.
Camera flash controls
The built-in camera viewfinder in Google Allo is finally adding flash controls. Available in the upper right-hand corner, options include the standard options of auto, off, and on.
<string name=”camera_flash_auto_announcement”>Flash auto</string>
<string name=”camera_flash_mode_toggle”>Change flash mode</string>
<string name=”camera_flash_off_announcement”>Flash off</string>
<string name=”camera_flash_on_announcement”>Flash on</string>
Redesigned long press menu
Instead of a toolbar up top, pressing down on a message reveals a new bottom menu that is easier to reach with larger, better spaced buttons for sharing, forwarding, copying, and deleting.
New “Face Rays” camera effect
Meanwhile, Allo is working on a new camera affected called “amazed face rays.” It requires an asset download to setup:
<string name=”amazed_face_rays_effect_cancel_asset_download”>Cancel asset download for the amazed face rays effect</string>
<string name=”amazed_face_rays_effect_toggle”>Toggle amazed face rays effect</string>
Redesigned camera effects icons
In a sign that camera effects could soon launch, the existing set of icons have been redesigned.
Dylan contributed to this article