Google Allo

Smart messaging app that helps you say more and do more.



most upvoted
Mark Chang — Product Manager, Google
We're rolling this out as quickly as we can!
@mchang Congratulations ! It would be great if you could open up API to business to directly chat with customers when they ask GA about a product.
James Campbell — Founder,
@mchang Let me know when it's in the UK. Building a bot based startup and super interested.
@mchang Been playing around playing around for a few hours. So far so good. Getting great results from Assistant and good smart predictions too. I did get a random "action_result" result while talking to the assistant, though.

Not too interested about SMS support. Haven't sent an SMS in yearrrs. Probably the biggest thing on my wish-list is a web app. I don't like typing slowly on a mobile when I'm sat at my laptop, so I can see myself changing between Allo and other apps depending if I'm at my laptop or not (and possibly the recipient of the message doing the same if they are at their laptop). Second is adding someone by QR, ID, or email. Some people want to chat but don't want to give out their number.

Congrats on the release.
Venkatesh Thallam — Founder @ Jobsplane
@mchang This looks great. Are you planning to build GIF's into the app? if not you should build, they are fun.
@vthallam It supports GIFs if you have them on your phone or use a keyboard that can search them. But yes, would be good if the app could search GIFs too :)
Mickey Bennet — Engineer, Global Sanchez Inc.
@mchang So far, I love it! When I ask assistant about herself, after answering, it'll ask me back, but whatever I answer, it will respond "I don't think that answers the question"
@mchang I look forward to the day that there's a desktop client. Until then it's Hangouts for me and my friends 🙁 (edit: maybe add the features to Hangouts?)
Julian Praest — - Design + Inf. Syst. student
@mchang Excited to see how the growth strategy and the user acquisition process to reach a "critical mass" is planned out - competing against the valuable network externalities/effects of existing, competing messaging applications; Allo is probably going to rely on the integration of other Google products, such as the Gboard's image/Gif searching functionalities and/ or the YT-community in that regard. Taking a brief look at its functionalities that it rolls out with lets me get the impression that it's primarily targeted at a younger audience (stickers, the unique "delighting" funct. such as shouting/whispering, as well as drawing on pictures) - but I miss a convenient videochatting feature. Looking forward to see it evolve in the next months!
Onutz Verde — ICT Marketing Manager
Rakesh Mohan — Android developer
@vthallam @mchang Yeah. And at the same time expecting the image share option on image suggestions by google assitance
Abdul Umer — Channel Marketing Manager, AffinityX
@heavyinfo @mchang Think API.AI acquisition ;) - I'd say what you're recommending is being experimented with now.
Nick Budidharma — Designer
@mchang I would love to use this as my main messaging app, but non-allo users aren't receiving my SMS messages, and I'm unable to set Allo as my default SMS app :(
Ghobs — Head Of Winging It, Denarri
@mchang What was your team's logic for not integrating sms fallback into threads the way iMessage does it? Without that functionality, this is just another chat app that people have to convince their friends to install. I'm honestly baffled by the decision.
Leonel More — Ramping up
@mchang can I do something to get early access?
Leonel More — Ramping up
Pedro A. Wunderlich — Designer, founder from Guatemala.
@mchang Pretty impressive that all the animations on the website are done by code. Great work. Can't wait for this to roll out in Latin America.
Paul Kemp — The App Guy Podcast
@mchang thanks for building another great app. Soon, my iphone will have more useful Google apps on it than Apple's own native apps.
Seth Rubenstein — Lead Developer, Pew Research Center
@mchang Loving Allo so far... but seriously we need proper gif search and insert mechanism. Also letting Allo be our default SMS client would be nice to not have YET ANOTHER messaging app to interface with. iMessage's success isn't some mystery. Its because they seamlessly integrated SMS and Chat into one app.
Steve Caldwell — CEO, Strap
@mchang Any tricks to getting certain actions to work? Seems like alarms, etc aren't performing as advertised.
Amit Fulay — Product, Google
@stevecaldwell set alarm works on android, not iOS
Steve Caldwell — CEO, Strap
@amitfulay ah ok. I'm sure the team is on it, but perhaps the assistant could be a bit more clear in its response to avoid confusion.
@mchang looking forward to checking it out.. when will it be available in international stores?
Max Ade — App Promotion, Google
@mchang Congrats on the launch, Mark! Everytime I see a dogfood email from you, it brings me back to the Startup Institute days...
@heavyinfo why not use thismo messenger to get a direct line to your business:
Lauren L Perfors — VP of Operations at Volume Nine
@overra @mchang Agreed, it'd be great to consolidate this tool and Hangouts together. Right now Hangouts, Voice and now this tool are all disjointed. Would be ideal if they all became one kick-a$$ solution.
Serge Lobatch — Product Manager
Why make the decision not to support true SMS fallback at launch? With such a crowded market for messaging apps, I question the decision to pursue the short-code SMS relay route. Sure, my iPhone-using contacts will get a download link (boosting adoption), but am I more likely to annoy them than to get them to download a new thing?

How big a factor in potential mass adoption is any individual user's (and potential advocate's) aversion to accidentally spamming their contacts?
Chris Messina — 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@slobatch backwards compatibility tends to hamper product innovation and force lowest common denominator design. Most of the features of Allo don't translate back to text-only well. How would you do stickers? Expensive MMS? Read receipts? Not possible. Allo is for users with data or who are on Wi-Fi. It's about the next 10 years of messaging, not the past... at least as far as I would attempt to understand their strategy.
Serge Lobatch — Product Manager
@chrismessina I hear that. I think we will see people continue to move away from SMS over time, but I think claiming that focusing on SMS would hamper product development is a bit of a cop out for two reasons:

1. When you're entering a market with so many competitors this late, you must account for network effects. How do you achieve critical mass when everyone's already got their favorite messenger? You know what else hampers innovation? A lack of traction. A lowest common denominator is a boon in this scenario, especially had Google positioned Allow as "Android's iMessage," and then given it AI superpowers.

2. There isn't a single feature of Allo that is wholly incompatible with SMS fallback. Stickers? Yeah, send them as SMS. Google's "Messenger," which is solely for SMS has exactly that functionality. Read receipts? Don't offer them for SMS messages. Frankly, all these issues are already addressed relatively well by iMessage or even by Facebook Messenger, which can be set as a default messaging application on Android. Heck, even Hangouts has attempted (albeit clumsily) to address these issues.

I get that any company wants to move away from the ugly stepchild that is SMS (and even uglier, MMS) and focus their efforts on the future, but you're not going to do it without a strong user base and a strong foundation.

Maybe future releases will reveal that Google plans to make Allo the messenger they referred to in their Jibe/RCS update email. Maybe everything I think will be proven wrong. Right now, I'm pretty skeptical.
@slobatch I constantly see this critique of Allo around the web and I find it astonishing, mostly because most Americans don't seem to be aware of the fact that SMS incurs it's own individual charge per message in many countries, for instance in my current country of residence (Barbados) each text amounts to $0.20, which you can imagine adds up pretty quickly. This alone is what made Whatsapp the leading messaging client here after the Blackberry and BBM boom died. Thus if messages defaulted to sending an SMS without a connection it would inconvenience most users. Frankly I like what Google appears to be doing, which is sending an SMS from a proxy number when a contact doesn't have Allo installed or sending a notification via play services, it seems like a better decision rather than continuously clinging to the inferior SMS, which was supposed to be "Killed off" by these messaging apps in the first place
Serge Lobatch — Product Manager
@alexzibrit admittedly, I am biased as an American user of messaging services, and SMS has been largely unlimited here for years now. It may very well even be that I'm not Google's intended market with this play.

Genuinely curious, do you expect your contacts will switch over to Allo to chat with you, or do you expect most of them to continue using WhatsApp? (Sorry if that sounds combative, I actually want to hear how you think things will go.)
Mickey Bennet — Engineer, Global Sanchez Inc.
@slobatch . Google is a major player in RCS, the next update to SMS that should be adopted by all carriers. This should play some part in their decision
Willie Morris — Faithbox Founder, Ex-Amazon & Boeing
@slobatch Agreed. Not being backwards compatible with SMS is a deal breaker for me. I don't buy into it hampering product innovation, there's ways to gracefully fallback until SMS is officially dead. I switched over to Android about a month ago and the biggest issue I have is messaging. Nothing quite compares to iMessage and Apple managed to fallback to SMS support for non-imessage users. I was hoping Allo would be that app for Android.
Del Williams — Founder, Private Curator
@slobatch @chrismessina are you forgetting Google owns a mobile OS, and those Androids are sold more than iPhones. Second, I help people move their stuff from one device to another, whoever lied and said sms was going away is a moron. In the USA, it's still the cheapest way to communicate.
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