Google is aiming to answer user demands for encryption of both their messages and video calls with two new apps announced today at its Google I/O conference, Allo and Duo.
The new messaging app Allo will launch with an incognito mode that enables an end-to-end encryption system designed by the non-profit Open Whisper Systems called Signal. When incognito mode is turned on, the two smartphones on either end of a conversation will both possess the secret keys necessary to decrypt the messages sent using the app. Neither Google nor the government will be able to access or request access to the messages sent in Allo's incognito mode.
The company also announced a new video calling app called Duo that will also employ end-to-end encryption to protect the conversations of its users. Both apps signify that encryption is something that both tech companies and their users support and believe in.
A Google engineering director named Erik Kay highlighted Allo's features during a keynote at Google I/O: “With incognito mode, Allo gives users additional controls over their privacy and security. We anticipate adding even more security features to it over time.”
The company has incorporated a popular feature from Snapchat into Allo by adding expiring messages that delete themselves after a set period of time or when the app is closed into its incognito mode. Google has also given the app encryption by using the open-sourced system designed for the messaging app Signal.
Duo and Allo will handle encryption in very different ways. In Duo it will be turned on by default whereas in Allo, users will have to manually turn on the feature by going into incognito mode. Despite this minor difference, Google has done a service to its users by acknowledging the importance of encryption.
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