Google is bringing Instant one-tap replies to messaging apps


One of Allo's highlight features is Smart Reply, where the app guesses what you might respond to a message with, and adds a button to send that response.

The expanded feature aims to take the hassle out of firing back replies in a range of popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp.

Google's experimental product lab called Area 120 is now testing a new system simply called Reply that will work with Google's Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack. But as a hint of how it would work, Area 120 said the plan is to offer Smart Replies right into the notifications tab, supposedly when the user receives a notification from the above-mentioned third-party chat apps.

The technology can tell others if a user is on holiday by checking a calendar and replying accordingly. The feature was created to automatically suggest quick replies to emails based on the context of the messages received by the user.

For example, if you are replying to an email that includes the phrase "Is Tuesday good for you?"

Android Messages has already rolled out limited - but official - support for Smart Replies, we should note. Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that.

Reply will also be able to break through your phone's silent mode in the case of an emergency or more urgent message. You know those boxes that pop up when you are composing a reply to a message and make suggestions what to say?

Google's Smart Reply, introduced in 2016, uses the firm's neural network to intelligently analyse a message's content to suggest an appropriate response. The Reply software is only available for Android devices and users will have to sign up here in order to try it out for themselves. Currently, you will find Google's Smart Replies in apps like Gmail, Allo, and Android Messages on Project Fi.

The project, like all Area 120 projects, is unrelated to any broader developments at Google - in this case, that means it's not directly tied to Google's messaging efforts. "Like all other projects within Area 120, it's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now".