Google is currently testing updates to smart replies, a feature that’s common to Gmail users, and predicts the way you might respond to a message, providing you suggestions and one-tap buttons to use them.
According to Android Police, the company is testing a new app called Reply, which will add Smart Reply to third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack. Reply would also bring them to Google Hangouts.
Smart replies are already enabled in some Android apps, including Android Messages, Gmail, Allo, and Inbox. But Reply would, in addition to enabling smart replies in more messaging apps, add the feature to notifications.
This means a message notification from Google Hangouts would display smart replies, in addition to the message. You could then send a quick response to a friend without opening the app.
Reply can also tap the internet and your phone to find the answers to factual questions, saving you the time. It can map your driving distance from a destination, check your calendar and tell people whether you’re working, and can tell friends who contact you while you’re driving that you’re driving.
Reply also knows when you get an urgent message, and can alert you even when your phone is on “silent.” Basically, it’s really smart.
Invitations to test Reply were sent out by Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental products. If you’re interested in becoming a tester, you can fill out Google’s form.