Allo is barely a couple of days old, and despite its cool features, the app has drawn a lot of flak from users for multiple reasons. The first criticism is justifiable, in that Allo lacks privacy, despite Google’s promise that the app would value privacy greatly. The app stores all of your normal chats on its servers permanently until you delete them.
So, the only way to protect your privacy is by using the incognito chat mode.
The second criticism is about SMS support, which does not exist in Allo, as of now. But this could change in the future, according to the co-lead of Allo, Justin Uberti. This is what he tweeted:
And a special ? to those who asked for a feature, but understood that Allo v1 is just that: a 1.0 product that will improve every few weeks.
— Justin Uberti (@juberti) September 22, 2016
If you are confused by what he meant, here is a more detailed explanation.
Some users tagged him on Twitter, and compared Allo’s lack of SMS support to Facebook Messenger, which is one of the few (or the only?) IM apps, which has the ability to send normal text messages. Uberti hit back at the users by asking if Messenger had SMS support right from version 1.
To be honest, he is right. Facebook Messenger only added support for SMS in June 2016, nearly 5 years after the app made its debut.
Going by his hint, Allo could very well gain SMS support in future versions. It is worth noting that Uberti was the technical lead for Hangouts. In fact he has been involved in the company’s previous instant messaging services like Google Talk and Orkut Chat (ref: Uberti’s blog) as well, so there is no doubt about his experience in evolving an IM app to greatness.
But Google has to take the blame for splitting its services and ruining things. Here’s why?
Google replaced Gtalk with Google+ Hangouts in 2013, and added SMS support to the app, making it a unified messaging app. But in January 2016, with the launch of Hangouts 11, Google began asking users not to use it for SMS, and instead promoted the company’s standalone texting app, Messenger.
And now it wants to do the opposite with Allo? Many people think that Allo is out there to compete with WhatsApp alone. In reality it is taking on both WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. The latter can be used without a Facebook account. Yes, you can use Fabeook Messenger with just a phone number, and even make video calls, and regular call through Wifi.
Google is not going to sit and watch that from the sidelines, hence Allo and Duo,