Google's Area 120 Testing Smart Reply Feature for Android Text Messages

Google's Area 120 Testing Smart Reply Feature for Android Text Messages

Google's Area 120 Testing Smart Reply Feature for Android Text Messages

So far Smart Reply, a feature that first appeared in Inbox by Gmail, has only been introduced to other Google apps, such as Allo and the Gmail mobile app.

Smart Reply is an AI-powered technology that creates automatic response suggestions. The feature would later carry on to other apps like Allo, Gmail, and very recently, the default SMS app: Android Messages, though it is still undergoing a pretty slow rollout.It looks like the feature could get pretty smart, too.

Google is working on a new messaging app that adds smart replies but has not mentioned other details such as the launch time. Area 120, an experimental program inside Google, developed the new Reply project for this exact goal.

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Reply is now available to some testers who previously signed up to Area 120's Early Access Program.

Now, a new app being tested by Area 120, an experimental division within Google, aims to bring smart reply to popular chat apps such as Android Messages (for all users), Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype, and others. Screenshots on how the new software works have already been shared online. Smart Reply will offer contextual responses - as one would expect - to messages, allowing the user to select the appropriate one right from the notification pop-up. The "slightly smarter" part of the promise is that it will, for example, be able to calculate time taken to reach home by analyzing your location.

There would also be a vacation responder that would automatically reply while you are in an area without cell service for an extended period. Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that. Do you wish a robot could free you of your constant communication obligations via WhatsApp, Facebook or text messages? It can silence the user's phone when they're driving and tell people who message them that the user is busy, or even bring certain messages to the user's attention even if the phone is on silent. But the feature has not been made available to all Android Messages users as of yet. 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.

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