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.