Opinion: Google Allo's whisper/shout feature needs to be stolen by everyone

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Opinion: Google Allo's whisper/shout feature needs to be stolen by everyone
Google showed off a number of cool things in its I/O keynote today, but one that has gotten me the most excited is the option within Google's new messaging app, Allo, to allow you to shrink or embiggen a word in order to better convey tone. Google is calling this the whisper/shout option, and it really needs to be stolen by all other messaging apps.

Properly conveying tone in a text-based messaging system has always been a challenge and users have always had to kind of hack their way to making themselves understood in different contexts. This could mean a quick emoji or "jk" after typing something that is meant to be sarcastic, or adding an insane number of exclamation points or writing in all caps in order to convey excitement. These kinds of tricks have worked to a certain extent, but no matter what you say or do, the trouble with text-based conversation is that someone will always misunderstand what you're trying to say and may even get offended. 

Allo's whisper/shout feature doesn't completely fix this problem, but it is by far the most interesting attempt to change the way text messaging is handled in order to better convey tone. Google talks about it in terms of whispering and shouting, but even a cursory consideration of the feature makes it clear that it is all about offering more nuance to text conversations. The so-called "whisper" side of things could just as easily be used as a kind of mumbled aside to slip in a snide comment or joke, or a subtle disagreement. Embiggening a word can easily be shouting, surprise, amazement, rage and more. 

This kind of nuance in text conversations is something that is desperately needed on the Internet, but the trouble is that I don't want it to only be found in Allo. Google has a troubled history with messaging apps, to put it lightly. Google+ Messenger was obviously a failure. Google Talk was nice for hardcore Gmail users but didn't find much wider usage. Hangouts has been Google's best attempt by far, but many still prefer Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other cross-platform options. Allo is walking into a hugely competitive market and Google hasn't proven it can crack that space. 

This is why I'm calling on all messaging app developers and web forum conversation locations - Facebook/WhatsApp, Twitter, WeChat, Skype, Viber, LINE, Telegram, reddit - to steal this feature as quickly as possible and try to expand it beyond just the size of the text. Being able to dynamically change the size of text is a nice start, and the way Allo implements it is fluid and easy to understand, but we need these options everywhere. And, we need to keep thinking about how to better convey tone in text, maybe even crack the most difficult challenge in conveying sarcasm. 

Wouldn't that be great?



1. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015


2. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Fun thing....suddenly it's totally OK to steal. But ofcourse this isn't apple....

4. TerryTerius unregistered

Nearly every product you've ever touched or service you've ever used is a combination of original thought and copied/expanded ideas or technologies. No one is exempt from that reality, and that is especially true when it comes to tech companies. The entire industry wouldn't exist without that. Basic rule of human progress. There is no company or person on Earth that hasn't had to rely on the work of others unless you live alone in the wild. Only fools don't incorporate good ideas into their own products or for their needs, or at least try to come up with a better alternative that addresses the same issue. But I will grant you there's a difference between borrowing wholesale and taking the core concept behind something and making it your own. But frankly, as long as I'm getting a better product at the end of the day and no-one's IP is being infringed on I don't really care.

11. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

For a website that doesn't care about who did things first (according to your post) your history of articles show something else. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Galaxy-S6-to-look-a-lot-like-iPhone-6-come-with-5.1-display-and-sealed-polymer-battery_id65573 http://www.phonearena.com/news/Oppos-latest-iPhone-clone-packs-a-hi-spec-selfie-camera_id79939/comments/page/2 http://www.phonearena.com/image.php?m=Articles.Images&f=name&id=68873 http://www.phonearena.com/news/Heres-how-Samsung-never-copies-Apple...-Not_id22518 Ohhhh i can go on for hours. You guys are so butt hurt when it's the other way around. You see in my world it would be totally okay. I just find it amazing that it's only OK when it's not apple who is being copied....

18. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

Hello, Michael? What do you say about these?

7. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Beautifully worded. +1 to you good sir.

12. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

I agree 90% with you and that is why I find it funny that I can read all these articles about others using apple stuff and how they get copied. If iphonearena really think that great ideas should be on all devices, why all these articles saying that this or that brand copied apple.....

15. phonearenarocks

Posts: 607; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

All this is right bruh! But then people still say apple and ONLY apple innovates, others just copy from them which is pure BS! The fact is that all these years, it is being doing catching up business from Android and Sammy. The first time that a lawsuit has been filed by Apple on Sammy is when the layman thought apple innovates and that opinion has still remained as such. This needs to be changed, wonder if Android/Sammy haven't filed any patents as there have been many cases of Apple copying features from both of them causing a potential infringement.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But Apple was the only company on earth that tied to sue peopel over things they copied from someone else. This is afact you simply can't deny. Or you can, and you would be foolish to do so. What you said is correct within itself. But you are still leaving out the most important difference. Stealing vs copying. Copying is not illegal, unless it is OWNED by someone else. Then it becomes STEALING. Copying and idea and making it better, doesn't give you a right to ry to won it. After all if it could be owned, it would have been. Apple's trade-dresss has been seen on a multitude of products. Including Samsung's own Photo Frame. http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/21773_Samsung_Picture_Frame_v_iPad.png The concept of usage is not relevant. The concept of the look is what is relevant. Cover the iPad's home button with black take and it looks nearly 100% identical. As does the original Galaxy S to the iPhone. But anyone who claims that any other Galaxy S looks like an iPhone is purely blind and stupid. ON PURPOSE! Copying is not required for progress, it simply makes progression faster. To make the wheel better, you don't have to reinvent the wheel and the fact is you can't. But you can improve the concept much easier and faster because you don't have to re-invent. But that doesn't mean though, that in making YOUR wheel, that you have the right to steal someone owns. Example. Look At Apple's Wireless Sync. Wireless Sync is not a new technology. In fact wireless sync has been done on smartphones for years. Read this artuce -http://www.pcworld.com/article/229993/Did_Apple_Steal_Cydia_Developer_Wi_Fi_Sync_App.html What this kid made, could not be patented because his concept was not novel or non-obvious. He simply made it so you can do it with iTunes over WiFi which was a feature Apple did not have. Now the kid took it to Apple and offered it to them and they said no. So he made his app available on Cydia. Because it can't be patented, Apple stole it and use it. Even stole it down to using the same icon. They stole, this isn't copying. Copying would be making somethign similar. This was pure theft. Look at these photos (since the video is now gone) of XiAO i Robothttps://www.google.com/search?q=xiao+i+robot&biw=1920&bih=955&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7ybu3v-bMAhWF7CYKHXr3ClEQ_AUICCgD#imgdii=BLHGqKrH8mObvM%3A%3BBLHGqKrH8mObvM%3A%3BwqO9siPw4CO9wM%3A&imgrc=BLHGqKrH8mObvM%3A It looks a lot like Siri? Why? Because Apple stole their UI for the I Robot and made Siri look just like it. If you saw Siri as an App, it was not quite like what the end results was of Apple's end product. Until YOU and other understand the true difference of STEALING and COPYING, then you just won't get it. I cannot walk into a library and just copy all the pages out of a book and then just make minor changes to the book and sell it under my own name. Why? Because the material in books is COPYRIGHTED...

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

cont'd - If I use it in such a way, then that makes it STEALING, even though I did copy it. Copying is making something look like something else. Hwoever, it si not copying is the design is require for function. All car tires look the same, because it is a required design for its function. Sure you can make some cosmetic changes, but the concept is what it is. Its why all computers and phones look the same because the form factor controls the identity as something that will look and feel this way. All you can do is make some cosmetic changes so they aren't 100% identical. The original Galaxy S yes looks a-lot like the original iPhone. But it isn't 100% identical. But even if it was, it wouldn't be stealing because Apple doesn't own that design of shape or look. It is a design that has existed on other products. All Apple did was make it smaller. That doesn't make it theirs. This is what all Apple-Fanatics and PA writers have it wrong. None of them understand the difference of copying and stealing. Copy is not illegal nor is it a crime. Stealing is both. Apple did both. They copied and they stole.

3. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Question: Can this be used as a default Messaging app for regular texts? Is it Internet based? What I'm getting at is, would it be possible for iPhones and Androids to be able to message each other, without turning 100mb HD videos into crap quality by converting it to 1mb.?

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It appears to be similar to WhatsApp -- internet based, not for SMS

10. Carlitos

Posts: 683; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

You should be able to , they said at I/O that you can use your sim card phone number

8. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

So... how long before Phone Arena steals this idea for us to abuse one another with? We all love to fight back and forth that I imagine that your entire comments section would be enlarged text. Fun idea though.

9. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

To avoid misunderstanding, just pickup the phone in hand, and call,the person. Fast, clean, and no MISUNDERSTANDING "jk"' :)

13. AlikMalix unregistered

When texting, If I have to convey certain emotion or sound sarcastic, I just leave a voice text on iMessage - it's right there, push the button, record and it's sent... for them to see later...

14. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Lets see your respond when apple implements a feature like this. Then it ofcourse will be epic innovation...

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