It can’t be long before Google’s forthcoming messaging app, Allo, hits the Play Store. Not only has there been a deluge of leaks from Android Police, which has been dishing out details of an internal preview build, but video chat app Duo launched last Tuesday.
That makes us feel like Tuesday, August 23rd may be a good day to release Allo into the wild. Here’s a roundup of everything we know so far about Google’s next bold leap into messaging.
The story behind the story: Google showed off Allo at its I/O conference in May, promising that the Google Assistant and a ton of new features would make it the must-have messaging app. Like Duo it will work on both Android and iOS, which may help ease the ease your green bubble problem with those iPhone-toting friends.
One peculiarity of Hangouts is that you can’t search through your conversations in the app (instead you have to do it through Gmail on the desktop). Allo fixes this annoyance with search that not only will find your conversations, but also locate the Google Assistant’s answers.
This should be a significantly more powerful way to locate that address you need or restaurant you chatted about last week.
To sync or not to sync
One peculiarity that the Android Police team found was that Allo may not backup your chat history. Previous chats disappeared when reinstalling the app on the same or a new phone.
The current build seems to forget one-on-one chats, group chat, Google Assistant conversations, and media files. Perhaps this is something specific to the test build, but it’ll be worth noting if Allo is designed to be intentionally forgetful in this manner in order to ramp up security.
Allo is bringing in a couple of drops of Snapchat into the app. It appears you’ll be able to set specific expirations for messages so they can disappear five seconds, a minute, an hour, or even a week while using an Incognito mode.
You also can’t screenshot these chats and they’re end-to-end encrypted. Messaging is a major focus of privacy concerns, so this could make Allo more appealing to those who don’t want their conversations to end up anywhere else.
Some weird stickers
Stickers are all the rage in messaging apps, and Allo tries to join in with the fun. There’s a sticker pack, though some of the choices are...interesting.
If you’re not the type that wants to get too zany with your chats you can safely ignore this section, but you have to give some credit to whomever came up with Julio the Bull.
Say it with a GIF
You can easily share GIFs and annotate on images that you share through Allo. It should be smoother than MMS, which sometimes can get slow depending on your cell signal.
The report says media compression is put to use for images and videos, but the image quality has still been pretty solid throughout testing.
Speak and say
There’s voice messaging, and according to the leaks the interface is rather similar to how this works in WhatsApp and even iMessage.
You’ll be able to tap and hold the microphone, with the blue bubble indicating that you’re recording. Lifting your finger finishes and sends the message.
The exhaustive leaks tell us the app is just about ready to go, so don’t be surprised if it drops very soon.