Today on Reddit, T-Mobile users started reporting that Smart Reply features suddenly appeared in their Android Messages apps. While it’s unclear if this is part of a future wide rollout, some A/B testing, or something else, it does seem like Smart Reply is on its way.
Currently, the only official way to get Smart Reply features in Android Messages is to be a Project Fi subscriber.
AI features like Smart Reply are a major component and selling point of Google’s instant messaging platform Allo. If today’s news is a sign that Android Messages will start getting Smart Reply across the major U.S. carriers, that means the death of Allo is likely coming soon as well.
Earlier this year, Google moved the team working on Allo to its RCS messaging program called Chat, which was the first sign that Allo was going to be dismantled. If this Android Messages rollout goes wide, it will be another nail in the coffin.
Eventually, Google wants Chat to replace SMS and MMS texting. Although, for that to become a reality, Google needs all the major wireless carriers to adopt the technology, which has been a struggle, to say the least.
If you are a T-Mobile user, make sure you’re on the latest version of Android Messages and see if you have Smart Reply enabled. For what it’s worth, I have a OnePlus 5 running Android 8.1 Oreo on the T-Mobile network, and Smart Reply did not show up for me.