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

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Now, a development team inside Google's Area 120 incubator is reportedly working to bring the feature to popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and a ton of others. The Area 120 team is aiming for the app to have support among major messaging apps such as Hangouts, Allo, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack. You know those boxes that pop up when you are composing a reply to a message and make suggestions what to say? For example, if someone asks how long it will take for you to get home, the feature can give an estimate based on how long it would take for you to drive there in current conditions.

The new project is aptly named "Reply", which can be viewed as the mobile version of Google's Smart Reply feature that is available in Gmail and Allo. This is a nifty feature that uses AI to scan the contents of your email, and based on that it will provide users with a bunch of different reply options that are appropriate to the email. As of now, smart replies aren't shown in notifications, but with Reply, users will be able to send smart replies directly from the notifications list.

Reply will use location and traffic information to help craft more specific smart replies, the announcement said. The newly announced project is simply called "Reply" and will be initially available to Android users.

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Now it seems that Google wants to bring the feature to more chat apps, and not just those made by Google. Reply will be able to silence users' phone when they are driving, and it will also inform people who send a message that the user can not chat at the moment. Apps the feature is being tested in include Google Hangouts and text messages. Smart Reply has become one of the most useful features in Gmail, especially for those with a lot of inbound, or who answer a lot of their emails on the go where typing out responses is more cumbersome.

There would also be a vacation responder that would automatically reply while you are in an area without cell service for an extended period.