Google Allo

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

#3 Product of the MonthSeptember 2016
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Google Allo is a smart messaging app that helps you say more and do more. Express yourself better with stickers, doodles, and HUGE emojis & text. Allo also brings you the Google Assistant
  • Peter Mello
    Peter MelloManaging Partner, Lionheart Pathways

    Successfully automates and simplifies almost every typical messaging behavior from quick replies to snapping pics/video


    Yet another entrant into a ridiculously fragmented and chaotic space. Not many others are using it, but I chat more with those who do.

    Google has a great product here built out of a philosophy that is a total winner IMO. They are dragging their feet in the most inexplicable fashion, and doing nothing to funnel Hangouts users into it and rolling out an equally good desktop experience to complete the client field that anyone needs to be a serious contender. I hope they pull their heads out know where, but their track record in real-time communications has me thinking they'll squander this opportunity like all those before.

    Peter Mello has used this product for one year.
  • Chris | Vrixe
    Chris | VrixeEdit and open the best moments together.

    When you search for it in the store, you will find it. No seriously there is nothing good about this app other than that.


    ...and Google jumped ship after a year, leaving the users to dream of yet another chatapp to be released.

    This app and the web version will make you sick. Very sick.

    Hate that whisper - shout thing. What is that!

    Images in chat take up the whole screen. Thats just bad real estate. assistant is not just creepy but useless here.

    The whole app just feels like its half-baked.

    Chris | Vrixe has used this product for one year.
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Mark Chang
Mark ChangMaker@mchang · Product Manager, Google
We're rolling this out as quickly as we can!
Abishek Muthian
Abishek Muthian@heavyinfo · CEO, TIMEBENDER TECHNOLOGIES
@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
James Campbell@jcampbell_05 · Founder,
@mchang Let me know when it's in the UK. Building a bot based startup and super interested.
Chris Thomson
Chris Thomson@chris_thomson1
@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
Venkatesh Thallam@vthallam · Founder @ Jobsplane
@mchang This looks great. Are you planning to build GIF's into the app? if not you should build, they are fun.
Chris Thomson
Chris Thomson@chris_thomson1
@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 :)
Serge Lobatch
Serge Lobatch@slobatch · 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
Chris Messina@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur
@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
Serge Lobatch@slobatch · 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
Serge Lobatch@slobatch · 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
Mickey Bennet@werewookiee1
@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
Ryan Hoover
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
A ton of people scratched their head when Google announced two new mobile communication apps at IO: Duo (Google's "Apple FaceTime") and Allo (Google's "Facebook Messenger"). Now that they've revealed more details about the app, it's starting to make more sense. The potential here comes from Google Assistant platform, which will be rolling out to Google Home (Google's "Amazon Alexa"). The Verge's @backlon has a detailed review (text and video) of the new app.
Björn Bakker
Björn BakkerPro@bjrnbkkr · Founder
@rrhoover what would be your bet on Allo?
Sar Haribhakti
Sar Haribhakti@sarthakgh · Learning
@rrhoover @backlon The app preview notification on Android is very interesting. Probably laying foundation for Instant Apps. "If they’re on an Android phone, something new and intriguing happens. Google is calling it an "app preview notification," and basically it shoots a notification directly to your Android device instead of going through SMS. Your friend will get a notification that looks and acts almost as if they had the app installed in the first place, message content and all. It means they won’t incur any SMS fees, either. Your recipient can reply within the notification, or tap on it to install the app."
Venkatesh Thallam
Venkatesh Thallam@vthallam · Founder @ Jobsplane
@sarthakgh @rrhoover @backlon Yes! That's great. A friend pinged me and i had no idea that i have Allo. It showed me an option for instant reply or download. This will definitely help in user acquisition too.
Leonel More
Leonel More@leonelmore · I can build/scale your product
@rrhoover @backlon makes me wonder if Allo launch is why we don't see GBoard for Android yet :)
Nitesh Mishra
Nitesh Mishra@niteshmishra_ · Configure.IT - App Development Platform
Awesome! You can build a similar kind of app by using www.Configure.IT Online Mobile App Development Platform.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Scott Wyden Kivowitz@scottwyden · Photographer / Marketing @ Imagely
I'm sorry but how many messaging apps does Google really need?