Mobility

Google Allo boosts its enterprise appeal with file sharing, Duo adds audio calls

At a recent event in Brazil, Google announced that its messaging app, Allo, would be getting file sharing capabilities, while its FaceTime competitor, Duo, will be able to make audio-only calls.

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Image: Lynn La/CNET

At a Google event in Brazil on Wednesday, the search giant announced a host of app updates that could prove useful to business users, especially those regarding its smart messaging and video calling apps, Allo and Duo.

According to a Google blog post, Allo users will now be able to share documents and files in the following formats: .pdf, .doc, .apk, .zip, and .mp3. Being that Allo on Android allows users to send messages to other Android users who haven't yet installed the app, this new feature could be helpful for improving collaboration, and keeping remote and traveling employees connected to critical business files.

Google officially released Allo on September 21, 2016, but it is unclear how much market penetration the app has received. Allo also features other security and productivity capabilities, including an "Incognito Mode," while integrating with the AI-based Google Assistant as well.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy template (Tech Pro Research)

Check out this article from TechRepublic contributor Jack Wallen to see what Google Assistant is actually capable of in Allo.

Google Duo was originally announced alongside Allo as a FaceTime competitor for video calling. One of Duo's core launch features was Knock Knock, which shows a live stream of an incoming call before it is answered, to allow users to better screen video calls.

Now, Google Duo is getting the ability to make audio-only calls. The feature is meant to take over from video calls in areas where the connection is poor and the speed is slow, and could better position the product against Skype and Facebook Messenger.

"So in those moments when video calling isn't an option—like when you're about to hop on a crowded bus or have a poor network connection—you can stay connected with family and friends through audio calling," the post said. "Duo audio calls work well on all connection speeds and won't eat up your data."

Google also announced updates to Google Photos at the Brazil event. In areas with 2G connections, photos will back up in a "preview quality," but will be replaced by a higher quality version as soon as the user connects to Wi-Fi. Users will also be able to share the lower quality photo on slower connections, the post said.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google Allo is getting file sharing capabilities, which could make it a better collaboration tool for enterprise users.
  2. In 2G connection areas, Google 's video calling app, Duo, will now switch to audio calls to keep the conversation going.
  3. Google Photos will now back up low quality versions of pictures when the users is on a poor connection, and replace them with high quality versions when the user gets on Wi-Fi.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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