Google is bringing Instant one-tap replies to messaging apps

Google Reply

One of Area 120's latest projects is called "Reply", and its goal is to bring Smart Replies to a heap of other messaging apps.

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

Reply is created to work with a number of popular messaging services, including Google Hangouts and Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack. The Reply app will allow user to send instant and smart replies directly from the notification bar without having the need to even open that app. Smart Reply has become one of the most useful features in Gmail, especially for those with a lot of inbound, or who answer a lot of their emails on the go where typing out responses is more cumbersome.

Now you might be thinking how that AI-based system will reply to the messages received from the second person. When you get an urgent message like "We're waiting for you!" An example would be receiving messages while driving; using your phone's Global Positioning System and Bluetooth sensors, Smart Reply would know you are in your vehicle. It will be able to prioritise information and send a notification if the AI deems it important, like if the message says "Where are you?"

Area 120's vision is to have Reply take over all the busy work when it comes to responding to messages of all kinds.

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According to TechCrunch, there is a Do Not Disturb mode that can switch on when a user is driving, as well as a vacation responder that automatically checks your calendar to let others know you aren't working.

Now it appears as though Google wants to bring its Smart Reply feature to other messaging apps as well. Reply is still very much so in its early development days, and it's entirely possible that Google will scrap the project at any given moment.

Google's AI-powered Smart Reply was first released with its Inbox app.

Android Messages has already rolled out official support for Smart Replies, albeit only for Project Fi users.

If you're interested in testing out Reply and other applications from Area 120 in the future, your best bet is to sign up to join the incubator's Early Access Program.


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