Google still has not gotten its Messaging act together, much to some users frustration, but now we can at least scratch one of the more confusing products off of the list. The tech giant has officially announced that they are discontinuing Allo, their smart messaging app and will instead focus on Messages for well, messaging, Duo for video calls, and Hangouts for team communications. It’s not really a surprise that Allo will be discontinued as we haven’t seen an update for it in quite a while.
When Allo was initially launched two years ago, people were skeptical about how it would fare among the glut of messaging apps already out there and with established user bases already. Despite its many robust features, it never really caught on. And then Google started developing their Messages app, which is an upgraded SMS experience, and bringing some Allo features to it.
So it’s not really a surprise that we’ll be saying goodbye to Allo. It will continue to work until March 2019 and you can now start exporting all your existing conversation histories. They’ve provided step-by-step instructions on how to download it and messages will be stored in a CSV file while media attachments will be in a zip file. Meanwhile other features you may have enjoyed like Smart Reply, GIFs, and desktop support, are already available in Messages so we might see other features added there too.
Meanwhile, Duo, their video calling app, will be enhanced as they say it’s one of their highest rated mobile apps. This year they launched support for Android tablets, Chromebook, and Smart Displays. They also gave users the ability to leave a video message in case the one you’re calling didn’t pick up. Expect to see more new features to be introduced.
As for Hangouts, there was a recent announcement that Hangouts Chats and Hangouts Meet, which are meant for G Suite customers, will eventually be available for existing Hangout users. While it’s focused more on enterprise, there may also be some features that will appeal to ordinary users. Hangouts as we know it will eventually cease to exist, although as to when that will happen is still up in the air.