Google to shut down its smart messaging app Allo after March 2019

Yolanda Curtis
December 8, 2018

Confused? That's normal: Google's messaging strategy is a mess, and it has been for years. What it's progressing towards, I don't know.

Eight months ago, Google, via Anil Sabharwal, Vice President of Chrome, Comms, and Photos at Google, announced that it stops investing money in Google Allo because the app is not as popular as the company expected. It'll someday bring powerful RCS messaging services to most of us.

The company neglected to mention Google Voice in its blog post, but understandably, the full Google messaging stack can be hard to keep track of.

Allo will continue to work through March 2019 and until then, users can export their existing conversation history from the app by taking a backup.

Allo will soon join the legacy of Google's failed messaging apps including Gchat, Google Buzz, and Google Wave. This year has just been a pretty big year for "spring cleaning" at Google. Messages, for now and for most people, is the default SMS app in many Android apps, and particularly so in Google's own Pixel phones. However, it's not all for naught.

Contrast the success of the Google video chat app Duo which registers ever more users.

All of which is to say - there's a little bit more of an overarching vision now that ties Google's messaging properties together.

It's highly likely the 9to5Google source who informed the publication about the end of Hangouts Classic is the same source informing it about the end of Google Allo. That doesn't mean the service itself is immediately going away.

But what's supposed to be a move "toward a simpler communications experience" is anything but. Duo is for one-on-one video calls. Some users, including myself, did not really want to invest into another Google communication application that would meet the face of its predecessors eventually, probably.

RCS Chat is different from your regular SMS text messaging. Despite the name, the lead Duo engineer promised group calling earlier this year. First, they will be available in the G Suite, but later it will become available to all users. The realisation kicks in even more when you see iOS folks with the slick iMessage experience they get.

When you dive into the integration with Google's other services, it breaks down further.

In addition to live video and audio chats, Duo can record messages when a recipient is offline.

Other reports by iNewsToday