Google IO 2017 Coverage

Hey Google, this is how you should fix Allo

It’s safe to say that Google’s latest instant messaging app, Allo, isn’t setting the world alight in the popularity stakes. It’s faced with strong, entrenched competition in the form of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and even finds itself competing with other Google products such as Hangouts. It’s also not exactly clear why Google launched a separate video chat app called Duo instead of just including the function within Allo. To its credit, Google has asked Allo users how they would fix the messaging app a couple of days ago, and our readers were quick to offer the search giant some advice.

One reader, solis, wonders why Google tied the app to a mobile number that limits use to a single device instead of a Gmail address so you could use log in to Allo on multiple devices simultaneously:

“It’s not complicated – let users connect their Google account so it can be used across several devices. Add tablet and desktop clients. Basically, right now the app does a lot less than Hangouts, and it should do more.”

Bardo wants to know why Google chose to launch a single purpose app:

“…I already have Hangouts that works on my desktop with the web client, on my phone, on my tablet, and integrates video chat, visual voicemail, SMS, and IM’s together in one place. Why would I ever want a separate app with only part of that functionality that only works on one device? It’s not rocket science…”

While Dakota W likes the aesthetics and the chatbot function of the Allo app but wonders why it lacked core messaging features:

“I actually liked Allo! Well…to a degree. I thought it had a nice interface, some nice animations, and some nice features like the chatbot and stickers. It felt closer to an IM app and iMessage. But it lacks the core features most people want. Mainly one freakin app!!! Either being Hangouts or Allo or Messenger…”

In a nutshell, our readers want Google to either merge Allo, Duo, Messenger, and Hangouts into a single app or simply add the extra functionality into the best and oldest messaging app they had all along – Hangouts. They want texting, instant messaging, and video chat support as well as a web client, all within the same service. As Bardo says, it isn’t rocket science. I mean, it’s great that Google is looking for feedback from Allo users, but perhaps it should rather be asking why people aren’t flocking to use the messaging app in the first place. Don’t forget, if you are based near Google’s local offices in London, Seattle, San Francisco, New Delhi, or São Paulo, you can register to give feedback on the Allo app personally.

So hey Google, how about pulling your resources from these superfluous apps such as Allo, Duo, and Messenger, and putting them to work on Hangouts instead? Quit treating Hangouts like a second-class citizen and turn it into the star app it could, and should, have been all along.


About the Author: Peter Holden

I've been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being my first phablet. I currently carry around a Huawei P10 and a Galaxy Tab S2 8.0. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, I'm an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, I love a good Braai (BBQ).


  • djghettoredneck

    I agree. I love Hangouts all in one. My carrier number for family and friends, IM for family and friends and work and my Google Voice for work.

  • OlayTerry

    Allo and Duo are ill-conceived apps. Hangouts is still much better than both combined.

  • Drew Mikolajczyk

    Hangouts is trash…It’s ugly, clunky, slow, un-reliable…It should burn a firey, equally ugly death

    • Duder12

      Agreed. Anyone that thinks Allo and duo features should merge into it is just plain dumb.

      Hangouts was a poorly made product and never took off except in the business world.

      It makes sense Google wants to keep it and focus it on enterprise but what doesn’t make sense is Google hasn’t rolled Messenger into Allo and added cross platform support to Allo

  • Deadpool491980

    I thought this app would be Androids Imessage what a disappointment Google!

  • Cristi Neagu

    Want to save Allo? Delete it and rename Hangouts to Allo.

  • Tom Barnes

    RCS is going to be the answer to this, it will alleviate the issues that many had when Hangouts integrated both SMS and Hangouts leading to getting charged for MMS by mistake. I do wonder why we even have SMS now, with instant messaging being a more cost effective way to share more than just text. The biggest issue at the moment is that there are too many messaging apps which are not compatible with each other, bringing me back RCS (Rich Communication Services) being the long term answer.