In a teardown last month, we spotted Allo preparing a transcription feature for voice messages. With version 25 rolling out now, that functionality is beginning to go live for users, while Google continues work on camera effects and a Reply feature that quotes previously sent messages.
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.
Voice message transcriptions rolling out
With version 25, users are beginning to see the new transcription feature for audio messages go live. Under Chat settings, there is a new “Voice message transcripts” option that has been toggled on by default.
Transcripts are displayed underneath the audio player, with a “Transcript not available” message displayed when Google cannot interpret the audio. The feature works rather fast, with the transcription appearing seconds after a new message is received. In our testing, transcripts only appear on new messages received after updating to version 25.
Message Reply quoting
Along with transcriptions in version 22 last month, we also activated a “Reply” feature for quoting messages. In Allo 25, it’s been tweaked so that holding down a message pops up a Reply bubble (versus icon). Similar to quoted retweets on Twitter, your new message will be appended to the original one to provide better context.
Meanwhile, Google continues works on adding camera effects to Allo. We previously spotted them around the mini circular camera pop-up in the main chat window. Now, they are also available from the full-screen camera. A new button will let users overlay a menu of effects just above the shutter button. From what we’re able to determine, these effects will be downloadable, similar to sticker packs.
Redesigned ‘Chat details’ for one-on-one conversations
In Allo 24, Google was working on a redesign of the “Chat details” page for group messages. A similar revamp is now in the works for one-on-one chats. Tabs help separate between People, Shared Media, and Settings for quickly finding what you’re looking for.
Selfie stickers with custom text
For a while now, users have been able to make “Selfie stickers.” As the name suggests, this pack is customized based on your face. These are now getting even more customizable with the ability to overlay custom text.
Dylan contributed to this article
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