[App Fridays] Why Google has named Ablo the best app of 2019
Google recently released its annual ranking of Play Store’s best apps, games, movies, books and audiobooks of 2019. While the list has some usual suspects, it also had some new, unheard of apps that emerged winners.
One of them was Ablo, which won Google Play’s Best App of 2019. Ablo is a chat app that lets you connect, discover, and have one-on-one conversations with users from around the world with a real-time translation for text as well as video chats.
The app, which was launched less than a year ago, has recorded over five million installs, and is rated 4.3 out of 5 on the Google Play Store. Ablo is also available on iOS.
On why Ablo stood out from the rest, Google stated: “It surprised and delighted us with its ingenuity and polish. Beautifully designed and thoughtfully executed, it’s our Best App of 2019.”
So, of course, we at YourStory decided to play with this app and see why exactly it has Google going gaga over it. Here is our review:
To start with, Ablo asks you login with an email ID or simply connect with your existing Gmail one. The app then makes you fill out information like your first name, gender, city, birth date, etc. The app specifically mentions that your age will not be shown to other people. The last step is to upload your profile photo, which you can skip. Your profile is now set up and up on the app.
The app swiftly sets out some dos and don’ts for use, flashing rules like ‘no flirting without consent’, ‘no pushing to send pictures or contact details’, ‘no sexual or abusive behaviour,’ etc. “We won’t hesitate to leave you at the gate when you break the rules,” a flashcard reads. Tapping on ‘Ok, got it’ gets you into the app.
Virtual globetrotting for friends
Ablo is basically a social networking app that lets people who like to make friends from different cultures and places connect with each other, with a complementary user interface (UI) that ensures you feel like you are virtually globetrotting for friends. It welcomed us with 125 miles (‘miles’ is a metric the app uses to rank a user), and asked us to fasten our seatbelt for take-off. It also shows your location on the world map and indicates where it is taking you on the map itself.
It takes some time to get a hang of the app. For us, the app took us to Indonesia and flashed a question. We didn’t understand it at first, so we clicked the ‘next destination’ button on the home screen. The screen took us to the UAE and brought up a chat screen with a user, where it suggested a common question to spark a conversation. By this time, we had a hang of the app.
Finally, we decided to chat with a user in Morocco. The app has an auto-translate feature, which lets you chat smoothly without language issues. The app says that it translates the video calls also in real-time. But we could not test or figure out that feature. Also, the app works on a real-time basis, so you don’t have an issue like some other chat apps where one stands the chances of getting ghosted. Here, if you leave the chat, the app also notifies that the user has left the chat. You can also report or block the user if you find their behaviour is in poor taste.
You also collect ‘miles’ or points on the app. Having more than 300 miles mean you can select the target country. Once you choose the country, Ablo displays profiles of the users belonging to the country you have selected.
As echoed by Google, Ablo’s interface is clean and beautiful. It is the little details that shine through. For example, when the app takes you to a particular destination, it gives you trivia about the country, and also shows local time and temperature of that place, all great conversation starters for the potential friend you can make from that country. The overall design of the app is quite innovative and impressive. Overall, the app has a stimulating experience for connecting with the people.
Based on your interaction, you can send a user a ‘friend request’ or can leave the chat. You can see all your messages and requests in the ‘messages’ folder, which comes on your homepage as a small icon. Unlike other social media profiles, your profile at Ablo only has a photo, name, and gender. A user can also delete the account, which is a great feature.
The app is unique from so many other apps that lets you connect with people, as it effectively simulates a feel of travelling without leaving your home or device. If making friends from across the world is something that excites you, you will find great value in Ablo, which is free for use. Go forth and make friends, the world is your oyster.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)