Coming soon to Allo for iOS: animated emoji, revamped GIF picker, and one-tap Google Assistant

Allo, Google’s cross-platform messaging app for iPhone, Android and the web which made its debut at Google I/O in March 2016, will soon receive three major enhancements. The first integrates Assistant, Google’s conversational AI helper, deeper so you can access it with a single tap.

Aside from improved Assistant access, Allo will let you browse GIFs to add to your messages easier than before with a redesigned picker, plus use animated emojis in chats.

Keep in mind that these new features will be rolling out on Android starting today, and will come to iOS soon (don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted).

The perfect GIF is now a tap and a swipe away: to get to Allo’s overhauled GIF picker, simply tap the smiley icon in the chat bar and swipe left to get started.

Don’t forget that Allo recently gained ability to share a randomly selected GIF to your friends: just hit a Smart Reply with the Lucky icon or type “@lucky” followed by a phrase like “lmao”, “wow”, “I love” or some such.

Allo will step up your emoji game with animated characters. To animate your emoji, simply tap and hold the Send button, then drag up to see the selected emoji come to life.

This feature currently works on just ten select emoji characters, but Google has promised to animate additional emoji characters in the future.

And last but not least, Allo now provides a simple one-tap access to the Assistant feature anywhere in the app. Simply tap the dedicated Assistant icon in the compose box and Google’s conversational AI helper springs to life, ready to help.

As mentioned, the aforesaid improvements are slated to hit the iOS edition of Allo soon (they’re currently being rolled out to Android). In the meantime, Allo for iOS was updated to version 6.0 today with a trio of nice-to-haves.

You can now select multiple photos to send at one time (finally!), pick out your photos faster by viewing them in mini mode and crop and resize your profile photo.

Assistant was announced in March 2016 at Google I/O.

Initially, it was limited to Google’s Pixel smartphones, its Amazon Echo-like Home speaker, the cross-platform Allo messaging app and the Android Wear platform.

As we reported, the Mountain View-headquartered search giant today began rolling out Assistant to other smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow versions, like Samsung Galaxy S7, LG V20, HTC 10 and other devices.

Grab Allo at no charge from App Store.