After a hiatus due to the December holidays, the latest Google Allo update is now rolling out. In version 26, we’ve been able to activate a cool new expressive feature called “Scene Generation,” as well as the ability to preview Assistant results and set default identities.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), 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. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Customizable Scene Generation
Version 26 contains another string for the in-development Scene Generation feature that we’ve been able to activate. Another expressive feature, it essentially creates custom stickers and GIFs themed around whatever text you enter.
<string name=”scene_generation_content_description”>Create image suggestions</string>
The feature is accessible as a new icon next to GIF on Allo’s main conversation toolbar or by heading to the expressive search panel and swiping to the very right.
Text you enter can either be appended to an appropriately themed sticker or used as a cutout for a GIF, as seen in the two examples below.
Google accounts in Allo
With version 24 last month, we discovered that Allo might soon let users find and communicate with contacts by knowing their email address/Google account. We’ve since been able to activate the interface that users will encounter after Google rolls out this functionality.
Selecting phone number or Gmail address as default ‘sender_id’
A string in version 26 of Allo reveals the ability to select the “sender_id” used to send a message. At the moment, this default is your phone number. However, keep in mind that Allo is working on letting you use a Google account as another identity.
As such, users might one day be able to select either their phone number or email address to act as the default identity when sending messages.
<string name=”default_sender_id_title”>Default sender id</string>
Sharing Google Assistant results
Being able to easily invoke the Google Assistant in any Allo conversation is quite a useful feature. However, there are times when you might want to first preview Assistant results before they are sent to everyone in the chat.
With version 26, we’ve been able to activate this feature. After entering @Google and typing your query, users can press a new “eyelid” icon at the very right of the message field. This will pop up an overlay that shows Assistant’s response, with users then able to decide whether they want to share it with the entire group or cancel.
<string name=”bot_preview_v2_share_button_tooltip_title”>Choose if you want to share results from your Assistant in chat</string>
New breaking news camera effect
For the past several versions, Google Allo has been working on camera effects to complement the existing suite of expressive features. The latest is a “shocked breaking news effect” that will presumably provide an overlay on your face. Once live, users will need to download the individual assets for these effects.
<string name=”camera_shocked_breaking_news_effect_cancel_asset_download”>Cancel asset download for shocked breaking news effect</string> <string name=”camera_shocked_breaking_news_effect_toggle”>Toggle shocked breaking news effect</string>
Meanwhile, another string details selecting and de-selecting various expressive camera effects.
<string name=”expressive_camera_effect_deselected”>Effect deselected</string>
<string name=”expressive_camera_effect_selected”>Effect selected</string>
Dylan contributed to this article