One of the coolest features of Allo is the ability to bring Google Assistant into any conversation. Just type @google and you can ask Assistant questions like “What’s my schedule like today” or “Show me the latest Cars 3 trailer,” and it will happily oblige, saving you the trouble of opening Chrome or Calendar and searching yourself.
Now Google is making it easier to share that personal information with other people. First spotted by Android Police, the new feature gives you an option to send otherwise private data to your friends in an instant, but only if you allow it.
For example, when you’re in a chat and you ask Assistant something like, “What are my upcoming flights,” or “Show me my upcoming appointments,” it will now ask you if you’d like to share that information with the other people in your group. Tap Don’t Share and it will send a message saying, “Can’t share this right now.” Tap Share Now, however, and it will display the information it has retrieved on your phone for all to see.
Unfortunately, you can’t choose a contact to share it with when in a one-on-one conversation with Assistant, nor can you keep your personal queries completely hidden, but the ability to share information like this could prove to be useful in certain situations. The server-side feature isn’t tied to a specific Play Store update, though Android Police surmises that you likely need version 6.0 of Allo, which began rolling out last week.
Talk to me: While limited to just calendar entries, travel information, and contacts, the new sharing option has pretty big potential. Assistant has been frustratingly limited inside Allo—where it ought to excel in a natural conversational format—and this new feature could signal a new collaborative direction for Allo. However, without proper SMS integration, Allo is likely to remain a niche app, no matter how smart Assistant gets.