Make selfie stick­ers in Google Allo

The lat­est An­droid up­date lets you cre­ate stick­ers in your like­ness and send them to your friends, writes MICHAEL SI­MON

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Allo hasn’t been the run­away suc­cess that Google thought it would be, but that hasn’t stopped it from adding a stream of up­grades and new fea­tures. But with the lat­est new ad­di­tion, some peo­ple might want to give it a sec­ond look.

With the new up­date rolling out to the Play Store, Google is in­tro­duc­ing a long-ru­moured fea­ture called

selfie stick­ers. If you haven’t yet tried out Allo, stick­ers are cen­tral to its ap­peal, as Google looks to bring an Ap­ple Mes­sages-style whimsy to An­droid, adorn­ing your con­ver­sa­tions with ev­ery­thing from StarWars to ex­er­cis­ing av­o­ca­dos.

But selfie stick­ers add even more per­son­al­ity. Google is using neu­ral net­works here “to an­a­lyse the pix­els of an im­age and al­go­rith­mi­cally de­ter­mine at­tribute val­ues by look­ing at pixel val­ues to measure colour, shape, or tex­ture.” Trans­la­tion: They ac­tu­ally look like you. To find the fea­ture, start a new mes­sage with some­one who has the Allo app in­stalled and tap the emoji but­ton in the mes­sage field. Swipe left to scroll past the de­fault stick­ers and tap the over­flow (three dots) menu. On the next screen, tap the smil­ing sticker icon at the far right of the se­lec­tion win­dow to bring up your sticker gallery.

At the top of the list should be a new op­tion to turn a selfie into stick­ers. If you’re not see­ing it, you can side-load the APK (from tinyurl.com/y9r3y­dkm), but un­like other in­stalls, I also had to clear the cache (Set­tings > Apps > Allo > Stor­age > Clear Cache) and quit the app. If you’re still not see­ing it, you can force stop (Set­tings > Apps > Allo) see if that works.

When you tap the selfie sticker op­tion, you’ll see a Cre­ate but­ton. Tap that and you’ll en­ter a Snapchat-style selfie screen that lets you snap a photo (you can’t use a prior selfie for your sticker). There are a pair of eye­glasses in the mid­dle of the screen, so you’ll want to align your eyes with them.

Once you like what you see, tap the cam­era but­ton and Google’s en­gine will be­gin to work its

magic. The whole process takes about five sec­onds, and you’ll see a fun set of dis­guises to pass the time. Then you’ll be taken to a new screen with your selfie-in­spired stick­ers.

From there, you can ei­ther save them to your gallery or cus­tom­ize your face for bet­ter ac­cu­racy. One thing to watch out for – if you’re wear­ing a hat in your selfie, the neu­ral net­work will think you’re bald, so you’ll need to add hair in the cus­tomiza­tion panel (a tur­ban and hi­jab are also op­tions). But oth­er­wise, the re­sults are pretty spot-on. It even picked up my hazel eye colour through my glasses.

In all, 24 stick­ers will be cre­ated fea­tur­ing your mug in a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions, in­clud­ing your face on

a slice of pizza, as a zom­bie, if you were an ab­stract art paint­ing, and sleep­ing. They’re just as easy to use as they are to make, with the new sticker pack ap­pear­ing at the top of the list when you go to use one. Just select the one that fits your mood and it will au­to­mat­i­cally send to your re­cip­i­ent. You can also long-press on one of the stick­ers to share it with An­droid Mes­sages, Google Voice, or just about any other app that ac­cepts im­ages.

The new up­date to Allo is rolling out to the Play Store, but you can also side-load the Google-signed APK from APKMir­ror. You may need to fol­low the in­struc­tions above to get the selfie sticker op­tion to ap­pear, how­ever.

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