Google testing 'Reply,' a smart replies app for third-party apps

The app will enable third-party apps to reply directly through the notifications.

By Vishal

    It's been quite some time since Google first added the Smart Reply feature to its email client Inbox. The feature was then rolled out Gmail, Allo and Android Messages on Project Fi. Now, a team is working on the same feature, but for third-party apps this time around.

    Google testing 'Reply,' a smart replies app for third-party apps

    The new project is called 'Reply' and will only be available for Android users for now, according to Reply's sign-up form available. The screenshots in Reply's announcement shows how it integrates with Google Hangouts and Android Messages.

    The replies take user's current location into consideration in order to craft a correct response. For example, 'yes' or 'no' if you've arrived somewhere or the time it will take for you to reach the given location.

    Android Messages has already started rolling support for the new feature but only for select users. But what's more interesting that Google is planning to cram this feature in third-party apps as well.

    According to the Area 120 announcement about the project, the plan is to offer support for Reply within a variety of mainstream messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs and Slack.

    To be clear, Reply is not a standalone app - it's just a tool to reply to respond to incoming messages. Reply will also have several automated features too. It will also have a Do Not Disturb mode that switches on when the user is driving and alert those who message you that you can't chat. The feature will also a Vacation Responder that checks user's calendar on their behalf to tell people if they aren't working.

    Reply will also be capable of breaking through users' phone's silent mode in case of an emergency or urgent messages. Smart Reply has already become one of the most useful features in Gmail, for people with a lot of inbound, or for people who answer a lot of emails on the go.

    "One of the many projects that we're working on within Area 120 is Reply, which suggests smart replies right in notifications from various chat apps," a Google spokesperson said. "Like all other projects within Area 120, it's a very early experiment so there aren't many details to share right now."

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