google allo

Google recently released its own messaging app called Google Allo which will be in direct competition with Facebook Owned WhatsApp and WeChat. Google Allo allows you to send out free SMS invites to your contacts as long as they are in the same country. Google Allo is available for Android and iOS.

Siri and Cortina now has competition with the introduction of Google Assistant. In this post, we will be going through all the features of Google Allo and let you the user decide on how to use it. Google Allo takes conversations to the next level with smart reply, which will give you response suggestions or ask Google Assistant to give you suggestions on a variety of things, such as checking for flights, which restaurants to go to or where the nearest hotel is. Let’s dig deeper into the many features of Google Allo.

Quick Responses with Smart Reply

If you are on the move or in a hurry, Smart Reply will keep the conversation flowing. You can answer messages with a simple tap of your finger. Smart Reply will analyse the text and give you fast and relevant responses to reply with. Smart Reply also suggests responses for photos and pictures. For example, if your friend sends you a picture of their pet you might see response suggestions like “haha” or “aww cute!”. Smart Reply will improve over time as it adjusts to your style of writing.

google allo smart reply gif

Get creative with photos, emoji’s and stickers

Google Allo features a rich selection of stickers (much like Facebook Messenger), with more than 25 custom sticker packs available for download. Text and Emoji’s sizes can be enlarged by holding down the “send” button and dragging up or down with your finger. This feature allows you to put more emphasis on message or emoji that you are communicating with. With Google Allo you can scribble on your photo before sending. It’s great for those with an artistic flair or pointing out a specific area on a photo.

google allo smart reply screens animated

Google Assistant

Google Assistant allows you to have a conversation with Google in the preview edition. Ask questions or assign tasks directly in your chats. Whether you want to schedule Google Assistant to send you the daily weather report or share your favourite YouTube Video, Google Assistant is here to help you.

To use Google Assistant in chat simply type “@google” to quickly ask assistant to provide more information. Google Assistant also reads texts and recommends addresses, videos and more contextually without having to use the “@google” command.

google allo assistant gif animated

Here are some ways that Google Assistant can help in Google Allo:

  • Find restaurants
  • Share videos
  • Research travel destinations
  • Get real time answers on weather, traffic, sports, flight status, etc.
  • Ask Google Assistant to send you daily updates on information you care about
  • Tell you a joke
  • Play games with your friends right in chat
  • And so much more

Although still in preview, Google Assistant has shown great promise and will give Siri a run for its money.

Concerned about Privacy?

Google Allo takes privacy and security very seriously. Chats in Google Allo are encrypted using technology like Transport Layer Security (TLS), and also introduced Incognito mode. Incognito mode has end to end encryption and discreet notifications. Messages in incognito mode have an expiry date and will be permanently deleted after a said amount of time that is adjustable by the user.

google allo incognito mode

Google Allo is a fresh addition to all the messaging apps already on the market. Will it gain popularity and be a player with chat giants WhatsApp and WeChat? Only time will tell.

Download Google Allo on Google Play Store or on iTunes for free.

mtn ussd codes

MTN will be introducing new short codes in accordance with the new numbering guidelines
gazetted by the Independence Communications Regulations of South Africa (ICASA).
From the 24 March 2018 short codes that MTN customers use to check their airtime balance,
retrieve voicemail messages, and contact center will no longer be valid

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a technology that allows users to access various services through the use of short codes. It usually consists of number that start with * and end with #.

Here is a list of some useful MTN USSD Codes

Services Current USSD string New USSD string
MTN Self-service *141# *136#
Voicemail service

(Missed call & preference)

*100# *132#
MTN Zone Cell broadcast *135# * 175#
Huawei-SDP (MTN Play) *136# *156#
Services Current USSD string
New USSD string
Prepaid service *173#  *135#
Post-paid service *162#  *135#
RICA *132# *135#
Sim Swap *126*7927#  *135#
International roaming *111#  *135#
Mobile number portability *113#  *135#


Spin n Win currently on *136# will be migrated to * 156 * 083 #
MTN Zone currently on * 135 # will be migrated to * 175 #
HSDP Services currently on *136 # will be migrated to * 156 #



Did You Know?

  1. There are officially more mobile devices than people in the world.
  2. Two out of three teenagers would buy airtime/data instead of food with the last money in their pockets.
  3. The first mobile call was made by Martin Cooper, an inventor at Motorola in 1973.
  4. Mobile phones today have more computing power than the computers that were used for the Apollo 11 to land on the moon.
  5. More than a 100 000 phones in Britain alone are dropped in the toilet every year.
  6. More than 4 billion people on the planet own one or more mobile phones, but only 3.5 billion people use a toothbrush.
  7. There is a 5 to 6 ratio for mobile phones to each PC on earth.
  8. The mobile phone industry is the fastest growing industry in the world.
  9. The first mobile phone weighed a whopping 1 kilogram.
  10. The average phone has 19 times more bacteria than a toilet handle.
  11. South Africa has a population of 51.8 million (recorded), but has 66.1 million mobile connections (recorded).
  12. There are more mobile phones in South Africa than taxi’s, televisions and radios combined.
  13. The first handheld mobile phone only had 20 minutes of battery life, and once drained, it took +- 10 hours to fully charge again.
  14. The fear of having no cell phone signal or not being able to make and receive calls is called Nomophobia.

Got any other interest facts?  Why not let us know in the comments section below.

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