Not all experiments have a happy ending. If you were relying on one of Google’s experimental apps called Reply to, well, reply to third-party apps like Hangouts, Messenger, etc, then we have bad news for you. They’re discontinuing support for the app and so you’ll have to go back to actually replying on your own without the aid of the supposedly smart replies from this Area 120 app. It looks like Google will be focusing on their own, more stable products like Smart Compose and Smart Reply.
Reply was released to beta testers earlier this year and now just a few months later, they felt like they have learned everything that they need to learn from the app and also the people who were using them. They sent an email, thanking them for using it and explaining that Reply was always intended as an experimental app. “We worked with teams in Google to make sure the ideas and learnings from Reply will live on in other Google products,” the email stated.
Those other products they’re referring to are probably Smart Compose and Smart Reply. Hopefully they really did learn from Reply since not all feedback about it has been positive. The automated responses were not that useful and would sometimes just repeat the words from the message that was received. There are even times that “I love you” is the suggested third response, even if the context is far from a romantic or a loving message.
There were earlier plans to roll out an integration with Maps and Calendar that would give suggestions on appointments and even commute estimates but it looks like that is done for. But given Google’s AI and machine learning kick, we can probably expect those features to show up in one form or another.
You will still be able to use Reply over the next few months if you want to, but Google warns that the suggestions may not be that good (if you found it good before) and there will probably be bugs since there will be no support or updates anymore. So use at your own risk.
VIA: The Verge