Back in May, we first talked about Google Allo, tipped early on to be a smart chat app. Now that the app has been around a while a new feature has surfaced that shows Google is thinking along the lines of Snapchat and offering users of the app the ability to send incognito messages and to send messages that automatically expire after a bit.
The chats are end-to-end encrypted with each participant in the chat getting their own unique identity keys. There is a setting that will notify you when an identity key has changed. These keys are used to both identify people you are chatting with and to secure the messages sent. You can tell at a glance when you are in incognito mode because the background will be gray with a graphic on the side.
Notifications are private during these chats and won’t give you an indication of what was sent in the message in case it is something you don’t want everyone to see. Incognito chats also don’t show previews of the last sent or received message unlike when you are having regular chats. If you are sending something you don’t want the person you are chatting with to be able to save, the expiration time is going to be your friend.
With this feature, you can choose how long you want the person to be able to view the chat or content you have sent them. You can choose 5 seconds, 10 seconds, a minute, an hour, a day, or a week. You can also turn the timer off to allow them to view what you sent at any time. The app also disables the ability to take a screen shot of the chat or content. The catch with these expiration timers is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to know if the person received your chat and read it before it expired.
SOURCE: Android Police