Google unveil test for chats with robots

The photo above shows Reply in action when used with Hangouts and Messages. A new app created by Google's Area 120 incubator called 'Reply, ' is now in beta and gives you smart reply options for most messaging services...

The Reply app is from Area 120, a group at Google focused on quickly iterated experimental products that the public are able to test. Smart Replies might sound robotic/impersonal at times but are a boon when whipping out your phone to draft a full-fledged text simply isn't an option. You know those boxes that pop up when you are composing a reply to a message and make suggestions what to say? If, for example, a recipient gets an invitation to a party or a meeting, the AI will automatically interpret this and provide appropriate responses like "I'll be there", or "See you!" or something along those lines.

If you're interested then head over and sign up to the form and maybe you'll be smart replying in your chat apps soon.

The email additionally highlights the different messaging platforms that Reply will work with.

Your Favorite Chat Apps: Reply works with Hangouts, Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack.

It appears Google is working to bring its Smart Reply feature to a variety of messaging apps from third parties, not just its own services such as Allo, Inbox, Assistant, and Gmail.

There's also "Don't miss the important stuff" to ensure the user does get important messages even when the phone is on silent.

Reply will also have an auto-responder, plus a "do not disturb" mode for those times when you're on holiday, or driving.

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.

It should be noted that Android Messages, as mentioned, has already received Smart Reply support.

If you happen to use Gmail, Inbox, Google Allo, or Android Messages on Project Fi, you no doubt know (and love!) Smart Reply.

No release date is now known, but users can fill out a form for a chance to beta test the feature.

The project is still in very early stages of development, and not much is known about it, other than the fact that it exists.

  • Fernando Stephens