Allo hadn’t been updated since January of last year, then in December, Google announced Allo’s planned obsoletion. Allo will be shutting down today and the messaging app’s landing page now shows a Goodbye message that recommends users switch to Android Messages. This is interesting since RCS on the Messages app still isn’t widely available but slowly getting there.
Google Allo launched in September of 2016 and the messaging app (which was confusing to see launch alongside Google Hangouts and Android’s SMS app “Messenger”), and along with it, debuted Google Assistant. At first, you’d only be able to use the messaging app to talk to Google Assistant and you could speak or type commands into the Google Assistant’s conversation window.
It was a sort of rebrand of Google Now and its voice commands that would be friendlier and have a personality – more like Siri and less like a robot. Eventually, it would become integrated into all Android phones and easily accessible by holding the home button. Allo’s fate is a bit different.
Google Allo ended up being a platform where Google could test new messaging features that would eventually be integrated into the default Android SMS app: Android Messages. Google’s efforts towards RCS and improving the default messaging experience became priority so engineers focused on improving Google Messages with new features like predictive replies, stickers, and a web interface.
Goodbye, Allo. Hello… uh… Hangouts? No wait… “Hangouts Chat”? Yeah, sure.