Google’s new messaging app arrived Wednesday, and it’s jammed packed with features. I’ve been using it for nearly 3 days now, and it certainly has many pros and cons. But should you make the switch? Let’s find out.
Right from the start, Allo is extremely straightforward. Rather than being based on your Google account, it uses your phone number. You simply confirm your number and it’ll send you a verification code. That’s it.
To start a chat, just tap the messaging icon in the lower righthand corner. From there you’ll see four options: group chat, incognito chat, Google assistant, and contacts. Tap on the person and you’re ready to go. But the real magic happens in the chat. Dragging up or down on the send button will “shout” or “whisper” the message. The Google assistant is always just an “@google” away. And Smart Replies are very useful in certain situations.
With Allo, you get a wide variety of stickers. Unfortunately, there is no “App Store” for additional ones like iMessage, but that may come later. There’s also a handy “incognito chat” mode featuring end-to-end encryption, expiring messages, and private notifications. Because of the encryption, you won’t be able to use the Google assistant or Smart Replies while in incognito.
Allo brings a lot to the table despite its hold backs. Below is a comparison of the pros and cons of Allo to Hangouts and iMessage.
Head over to the Play Store or App Store to download it.