Remember Allo? It is Google’s latest instant messaging app and it was supposed to supersede Hangouts and bring the delights of using iMessage over to Android. Instead, it launched in a bare-bones state, thoroughly failing to excite users and deliver on its promises, and after a handful of updates that also didn’t bring anything substantial or exciting to the table, the Allo promptly slipped into vast void of apps no one cares about.
All is not lost, however! Google is intent on pulling Allo out of life support and bringing it back into the limelight, and it needs …
Toyota will work with Ford to integrate an open-source version of Ford’s Sync AppLink into future Toyota vehicles. The software, called SmartDeviceLink (yes, three words concatenated) lets a car access and control applications running on the smartphone, using the car’s LCD, dashboard controls, and voice input button. This is roughly the same as what Apple CarPlay and Android Auto do.
Two differences will be apparent immediately between AppLink / SmartDeviceLink on one hand and CarPlay / Android Auto on the other: Ford claims more than 70 apps already available (AppLink apps should run as SmartDeviceLink apps as well). CarPlay and Android Auto have just a handful. Also, there may be more freedom for automakers to tweak and brand the interface the user sees on the LCD. Right now, it’s hard to tell a CarPlay app on a Chevrolet from one on a Volvo or Ford.