Android Messages has already rolled out limited - but official - support for Smart Replies, we should note. When a text comes during your trip, it would mute the notification and automatically respond with, "I am driving right now and will respond to you when I get to my destination", or something along those lines. The Reply app will allow user to send instant and smart replies directly from the notification bar without having the need to even open that app. That means Reply won't come in the form of a standalone app like, say, Google Duo, but merely a feature baked into a variety of chat apps. Pretty soon, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other apps will offer smart automated replies.
In an email that was sent out to individuals signed up for Area 120's Early Access Program, Reply is said to work with Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Slack, and even Twitter DMs. The Reply software is only available for Android devices and users will have to sign up here in order to try it out for themselves. It will also be able to override your phone's silent mode in the case of an emergency or more urgent message. As of now, smart replies aren't shown in notifications, but with Reply, users will be able to send smart replies directly from the notifications list. Smart reply offers automated replies, and like any AI-powered feature, it can be correct at times, or off the mark at various instances.
Google's internal incubator is working to expand the functionality into other major chat apps.
According to reports by Android Police, Google's experimental lab called Area 120 has developed a new system called Reply that it is testing with volunteers.
No release date is now known, but users can fill out a form for a chance to beta test the feature. If you're interested in applying to be in on the trial you'll also have to supply a reason why you want to give it a go.
The project is still in very early stages of development, and not much is known about it, other than the fact that it exists.