Google could help you to chat with your friends via robotic replies

Leigh Mccormick
February 14, 2018

It added: "Reply puts the Smart Reply you may know from Google right into notifications from the chat apps you use most often".

Smart Reply is not something new.

Google's Smart Reply feature could be extended to several popular chat apps, including Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, and Slack. But to be clear, Reply does not offer a standalone app of its own - it's just a way for people to respond to incoming messages. Reply will be able to silence users' phone when they are driving, and it will also inform people who send a message that the user can not chat at the moment.

Android Messages has already rolled out limited - but official - support for Smart Replies, we should note. Images included with the invitation show a message asking when a user can be home, with the response seemingly pulling information from Google Maps to generate the reply "13 min". It will also include a variety of other automated features such as a Do Not Disturb mode and a Vacation Responder that checks your calendar to tell people you're not working. Smart replies are now used in Gmail and other Google communication options, allowing business professionals to quickly respond to simple messages.

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Google's Area 120, a workshop for experimental products under development at the Mountain View firm, is now testing the new system. 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. Offering similar technology across a range of apps - and potentially only for Android users - could help push some users to adopt Android over iOS; or could prompt them to move to Gmail when they see how useful Smart Reply technology can be.

When you get an urgent message like 'We're waiting for you!', Reply can make sure to get your attention even when your phone is silent.

Google has confirmed the existence of Area 120's Reply app but told TechCrunch it was a very early experiment. Smart Reply functionality could save on-the-go workers time while improving collaboration.

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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