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Google’s Allo Boss: Hangouts for Consumers Not Going Anywhere

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In case you were still scratching your head over yesterday’s announcements from Google about the new direction for Hangouts, we have some additional info to offer that will save your scalp from bleeding. In short, Hangouts for consumers will still apparently be a thing (for now), while Allo is (for now) around for the “long, long run.” 

The news comes via Amit Fulay, the head of product for Google Allo and Duo. Fulay was responding to plenty of people on Twitter yesterday who had questions about the future of Google’s messaging apps. For example, in response to someone asking what the splitting of Hangouts into two enterprise apps meant for consumer users, Fulay suggested that consumer Hangouts is “not going anywhere.” That, of course, doesn’t tell us if we’ll all be moving over to Hangouts Chat or if the current Hangouts is sticking around for a while. My guess is that Hangouts will remain and Hangouts Chat will be a separate, new app.

As for Allo and Duo, news of Hangouts becoming Chat and Meet is another sign that Google is distancing the former messaging champion from Google’s newer consumer offerings. Allo and Duo are it for consumers, and Fulay all-but-admitted that even though Google kills off apps and services regularly without warning, that Google is “in Allo and Duo for the long, long run.”

Responses like that prompted additional users to then probe him over a roadmap for Allo, because things like SMS and a desktop app seem like important additions if we are all going to get on board and switch from Hangouts. Fulay doesn’t seem to want to commit to SMS, but he did say a couple of times that they are working on that desktop version of Allo that was teased not long ago.

So why the reluctance to get into SMS integration? The Tweet below could be a hint. While Fulay doesn’t specifically say anything about SMS, his suggestion that they are building apps that “serve us towards 2020 not 2010,” might be a jab at older communications tech like SMS. Then again, Google has also gone all-in on RCS, so who knows.

Either way, things shouldn’t change much for the time being. This is Google, though.

  • ccccc

    Google should really just preface this image before they announce yet another piece of software to further fragment whatever it is they think they are ‘improving’ upon…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edcb9f4bafa1958d1cdf972c9ad669bdf661e6cb6c16c08c9723253770b6e6b4.png

  • Robert Phelan

    Texting is what I use my phone for most often. Google is a lost soul. I changed my platform to IOS. iPhones and iPads. One texting app (iMessage) does it all and does it very well. Killing Nexus with Pixel was the final straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I’m not looking back. Apple says “it just works”. So true and FAST processors.

    • TylerCameron

      I’ve disliked iOS more and more ever since iOS 8. I don’t hate iPhones or Apple products tho. I just can’t really use them for more than 6 months without getting irritated.

      • Robert Phelan

        They both have pros and cons. Texting is better on iOS IMO. I have an SE and 6s which are smaller screens which is just as important to me. Android small screens are getting harder to find with high end specs. iOS and android push to beat each other. Win win for us lol

  • NoOneSpecific

    All this is well and fine to say but let’s not ignore this:
    https://developers.google.com/+/hangouts/support-faq

  • T. Roll

    I use all Google products but their messaging debacle is getting old. I liked Hangouts because I can chat with all of my friends regardless of their method – GV, cell SMS, chat. I love how this guy is claiming that by creating 4 separate apps is to make things simpler. Yeah, great pr spin. Oh wait, now they needed up chat on Google Voice. 5 apps.

  • dpbeardsley

    They are missing the most important point. Allo SUCKS.

  • MrGulio

    that Google is “in Allo and Duo for the long, long run.”

    Since when has Google shown that it can carry a messaging client in the long, long run?

  • ALLOGOODBYE

    Biggest issue with Android and Google messaging is simple. They cant keep 1 app going . Example as such ( hate to bring it up ) Apple has had iMessage integrated into IOS and apple products since day 1. ALL apple products use it be it SMS , MMS or standard messaging. The user sees NO difference and it just works. Android / Google , holy lord dozens of apps and NON of which have been constant to make a it work. The massive OS fragmentation doesnt help, the OEM exclusive messaging apps dont help , etc….. Google needs to fix the OS and get it consistent before they can even attempt to get a single use platform. Hangouts STILL is one of the better google messaging products they have ever come out with. The garbage ALLO app can be scrapped NO ONE would miss it. i dumped it when i had the Note 7 recall , got a new phone installed Allo LOST ALL history and usage……… uninstalled right away SCREW THAT

  • marcelomartins

    WEB CLIENT ITS NOT DESKTOP CLIENT.

    Look telegram desktop client and old days of gtalk.

  • crazed_z06

    Allo is trash.. completely useless

  • Mushy Waffle

    I have no use for Allo or Duo, but love hangouts.

  • BoFiS

    Only way I’d care about Allo is if it used the SAME accounts and connected with the same chats as Hangouts, but I’m fine using Hangouts on my phone/computer/tablet/etc esp if I can use Pidgin on my desktop at home/work

  • Stabby McKnifington

    This is why I just stuck with ICQ

  • Drew Quinton

    “goal is to build comms products that serve us towards 2020 not 2010”

    And we’ll still be using SMS in 2020

  • Eric

    I’ll be able to express more interest in Allo if texts to non Allo users start looking like normal texts and I can seamlessly access my messages from a computer like Hangouts and Google voice.

  • Hayden7200

    It appears to me that US customers are not the first priority for Google. I’m guessing that globally, we’re a smaller market compared to others. What Google is doing with their communication services will benefit foreign and emerging markets far more than it will us here in the US. But they don’t care because we are the minority.

  • Renan Rennó

    Hangouts Chats is fighting Slack; Hangouts Meet is fighting Skype; Allo is fighting WhatsApp; Duo is fighting… Facetime?

    • BobButtons

      As far as everyone I know (which I’m aware isn’t saying much), Allo is more fighting SMS than it is WhatsApp unless you’re speaking globally. I can barely get anyone on my contacts list off SMS to even get them onto Allo, let alone any other OTT messenger.

      • friguy3

        Allo isnt fighting SMS since it doesnt do SMS and nobody is leaving SMS that uses SMS since everyone CAN use SMS so why would I want any other messaging app? I can use SMS and talk to everyone, OR, have 4 messaging apps and talk to some people but forget whos on what app while some still only have SMS…thats a lot of SMS’s Personally, I still see no reason to stop using SMS.

        • BobButtons

          That’s why Allo is fighting it. It’s fighting it BECAUSE it doesn’t have it so people aren’t switching because they see no reason to. Google’s trying to get people using Allo but they don’t care to leave SMS so Allo is competing with SMS for users.

          • friguy3

            Ooohhh…I gotcha.

    • I think this comment succinctly
      summarizes a large part of Google’s thinking.

  • Raven ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I know its all been said here before, but I just don’t understand what these Google people are thinking. Why breakup Hangouts into so many different apps that are never going to gain any traction. Everyone I know either uses their SMS app of choice or Facebook Messenger (or iMessage if they swing that way) and I hear this WhatsApp thing is killing it elsewhere. I have not even been able to get family members to try Allo and Duo. Why should I have to use different apps if I want to video chat with 2 people or 3 people. It just makes no sense to me. They should have just kept improving Hangouts instead of diluting their share with all of these other apps with confusing names. Sometimes I think that they are just inventing new app names to fill out their Alphabet portfolio.

  • CookedDragon

    I want to hear a great argument for why Hangouts couldn’t do everything that Google has now split into 5 different apps. Hangouts can do SMS, so why does Messenger exist. Hangouts does messages and is already built into GMail, so why does Allo exist? Hangouts does video chat, so why does Duo exist.

    Why create new apps and platforms for millions of people to adopt when you could build all the features these new programs have into the existing program that millions of people already use? Google is literally going in the exact wrong direction with this and confusing even the most knowledgeable people.

    I would genuinely want to hear how this current path is better in any way over improving and adding to existing apps.

    • Marthagvines

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  • Theo Queiroz

    I really love Google products and have been a client of their services since the beginning, but I have to admit that the way they work and conduct the development of their services and apps they are beyond ridiculous.

  • Brett Wcislo ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Allo is the Ryan Leaf of mobile messengers.

  • Ryan

    Cool, so Ill think about looking at Allo again in 2020, but for now Ill entertain iMessage along with everyone else. Allo wont be great in 2020 with 40,000 users globally no matter how many stickers and animations you add.

    People buying phones now dont care about “what might be” in 2020.

  • Howard Stern ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I think they need to just combine all features into 2 different apps. one for business, one for personal use. take allo/duo/messenger/hangouts and make it….dusengouts?

    • Aaron

      Dulomessouts? Wait, I can get it. Hangalldussenger.

      • Howard Stern ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        ahhh love that one more. very david hasselhoffish

  • SMS is so 2010… Yet, they want me to tie Allo/Duo to my phone number instead of an email address.

    • RazorSky

      I don’t know a single person with a smart phone that doesn’t have an email address, especially a gmail address.

    • Jérôme Besnard

      touché

    • BobButtons

      Funny thing is, OTT messengers don’t even cover all the SMS bases. I can send/receive SMS when I don’t have data, like when in my grocery store. Can’t say the same for Allo.

  • Zebov

    So now that I have to switch apps again, I’m assuming there’s a way to transfer my messages from Hangouts back to voice?

  • friguy3

    So taking a jab at a platform that is basically universal (sms) and implying there’s better options, which are basically several platforms that cannot talk to each other, they add to the fragmented mess that is messaging instead of trying to make it more universal.

  • Lars

    “It’s great to see all your comments, but I will leave you with a thot – goal is to build comms products that serve us towards 2020 not 2010”

    Didn’t Steve Jobs say the same thing when he didnt allow MMS on his iPhones? This is idiotic. Make it work with SMS as that is what most people use at this time. Apple made iMessage work with SMS and that is why they have been so successful in getting people to use it. This Allo app wont be around in 2020 if no one is using it by late 2017.

    • BobButtons

      Maybe they’re trying to have “courage.” You know, get rid of something people still actively use while offering an alternative (aka workaround) that was already available as an argument for why you don’t need it.

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  • inklenotrump

    good work guy!

  • Prime7

    So now, instead of handling chat and messaging with a single app, we get four (five if you count Messages) that all do marginally the same thing. Thanks, Google.

    • OligarchyAmbulance

      If you’re not an enterprise G Suite user, why are you using the enterprise Hangouts Chat and Meet apps? And if you’re using Allo, why are you using Messages? If you’re using Messages, why are you using Allo?

      • redbar0n11

        I don’t fully know all the features in the new Chats, but you use the Meet app if you decide you want to video chat with more than one person at a time. You use Allo (or Hangouts) because it has features that Messages/SMS Clients do not. You use Messages/Textra/etc, because we aren’t using iPhones, and need SMS support. You DON’T use Hangouts for both Chats and SMS, because it royally sucks, especially with the whole MMS issues thing. Soooo, did I answer your questions?

        • BobButtons

          Agreed. I use Allo for the one or two people I’ve convinced to install it and Textra (SMS) for everyone who refuses to leave it.

      • TylerCameron

        Allo is one of the ugliest apps I’ve ever seen.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Smh. So I guess RCS isn’t important to them either? Allo is going NO WHERE without SMS support. If people want a full data messenger there’s a billion better options starting with WhatsApp. But in THE US SMS is still king especially since Apple has SMS fallback for iMessage.

    • James

      I agree 100%. Future-oriented messaging is a great idea in theory. In practice, I need a way to communicate what works with everyone, and right now SMS is it.

    • Genkidama

      There is too much power usurped by the carriers in the US with SMS. They really need to cut the middle man (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) out and be able to give you RCS content that is not carrier dependent. That is the biggest road block from what I surmise from Googles perspective. They have the infrastructure to connect phone to phone. We saw it in Google voice.

  • Rashad

    All Google had to do is make Hangouts the end all be all for messaging but they couldn’t even get that all the way right. As a result we end up with multiple messaging apps. In two years they will introduce another app that will serve another purpose. Smh come on Google!

    • OligarchyAmbulance

      “In two years they will introduce another app that will serve another purpose.”

      Where are you getting your information? Why do you know something that nobody else does?

      • Koneesha

        I’m gonna take a guess and say he knows this from Google’s past history.

      • Darell Ra’Mone Lewis

        “Why do you know something that nobody else does?”

        Buddy, you may be the only person in existence that DOESN’T know this very obvious truth…