back to article Google: I don't know why you say Allo, I say goodbye

It's decluttering time at Google again, and the Chocolate Factory has decided to chuck its Allo messaging client into the skip. For some time, Google has been working to get the 3GPP's Rich Communication Services onto OEM devices and into consumers' hands, and that has left the Allo smart messaging app as something of an …

  1. petur


    Who cares about Messages... SMS must die.

    Don't get me started about the latest feature they added to Messages: automatically make a preview from a link you receive *from anybody*.

    Who needs MMS to spread Android malware, we now have SMS

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: Messages?

      Can't you turn that off in settings? I've just lost my Android, but thought Messenger was alright to be honest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dabooka - Re: Messages?

        Google product and honest in the same sentence. Interested in buying a bridge ? I can offer you a deal you can't refuse.

  2. Spazturtle Silver badge

    You may have missed the news but they are also launching TWO new chat apps called Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, they are also shutting down Hangouts.

    Bonus quote: "I'm proud to work for a company that has the guts to shut down products that aren't working."

    1. Test Man

      Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet aren't launching they've been available for over a year already.

      It's only for G Suite customers but apparently it will be opened up to any Google account user, following this the original Hangouts app will be made defunct.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Google project that they got bored with and gave up on? What a surprise!

    And since neither Google nor Facebook are particularly trustworthy, this is yet another reason to encourage friends to start using Signal Messenger instead.

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: encourage friends to start using Signal Messenger

      Oh if only they were susceptible to encouragement.

    2. tony72

      Another Google project that they got bored with and gave up on? What a surprise!

      I personally like Google's approach of trying various approaches to a problem, putting stuff out there and seeing what sticks. But it's essential with that approach that you prune the stuff that doesn't stick, otherwise you'd end up with a permanent mess of overlapping, semi-redundant products.

      I'm not really sure what the people that moan about this actually want. I mean, do think Google should keep supporting Allo, even though it hasn't gained much traction, and it has other products that do the same job better? Or do you just dislike Google's whole approach, and you don't want them to release products like Allo in the first place?

      1. de-em

        ...unless you're running a business that relies on the existence of said product.

        Not sure how can you have a long-term IT strategy based on Google products with your feet on constantly shifting sand?

        (this is more a comment on the size of Google's ever-expanding graveyard of discarded products rather than Allo specifically though)

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          unless you're running a business that relies on the existence of said product.

          Well, you're a fool if your business depends on a freebie from a company that can be withdrawn at any moment. Google treats it commercial offerings differently. But then these have support contracts, etc.

          1. Spazturtle Silver badge

            "Google treats it commercial offerings differently. "

            It pretends to but not really, remember Google Spaces?

          2. Nolveys Silver badge

            Google treats it commercial offerings differently.

            Yeah, instead of throwing the products under the bus completely they change the interfaces into garbage either slowly or quickly.

      2. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Another Google project that they got bored with and gave up on?

        The problem is that Google launch new products in about the same way as most animals launch poo.

        They now have a reputation for dumping new products out everywhere, so that now nobody is willing to take a bet on using most, or even all, of them.

        And then there’s “first mover advantage” where already well known products are hard to take market share from, unless something very obviously better (and that anyone has actually heard of) comes along.

        And then there’s the fact that it’s Google, and increasing numbers of people are only willing to “trust” them so far, if at all.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        "I mean, do think Google should keep supporting Allo, even though it hasn't gained much traction"

        I don't use Google products, but I'm going to guess, based on the comments that I've read over the years, that people's problem with this is that it means that you can't really rely on anything Google releases (at least until it's a big hit) because it might go away tomorrow.

        That's a really serious problem. Once you've invested in a particular platform, it's painful and disruptive to to change.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Another Google project that they got bored with and gave up on?

      It was yet another test bed for services they can sell to companies: demonstation of a chatbot. Was able to use Signal's encryption from the start, so no need to reinvent the wheel.

      I already use Signal but find multidevice support and backups poor compared to Telegram.

      Messages is good because it encourages a network independent protocol which means being able to send messages to anyone without being beholden to a particular network. Irony, of course, at the moment is that you do need Google Messages for this but it would be nice if it can be made to work.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Laughing at all the idiot comments here. These morons are just programmed to hate Google, and listen to what suits that, ignores things that don't.

      Idiot comments about how SMS and Messages must die, when actually this is all about RCS, and the universal successor to SMS..

      Idiot comments about Google about to release 2 new chats, when it's been out for over a year.

      We live in a world full of retards that don't understand how the internet is financed... Of course the idiot press don't help. When sites like 9to5Google spew bullshit stories on the world, and then the lazy bloggers just copy and paste that story en-masse without fact checking whatsoever (The Register were guilty of this, as were many many other sites)

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        I am trying to work out something. If you are laughing from your enlightened state, then surely an enlightened mind would want to enlighten others? Otherwise it is just ego.

        So what we have here is an egotist laughing at the apparent lack of knowledge of others. What a wonderful place you are in! We should all aspire to be like you. It warms my heart to think that there is true greatness in this world.

        You should start a vlog. You would be popular on YT and would make a killing with all the ad revenue.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          This is an IT blog, you might want to know a little about IT to not get laughed at here. Perhaps Facebook is a better fit for you?>

  4. DJV Silver badge


    Is it significant that the only mention of Allo that I have any recollection about is this article? It's launch and subsequent presence bypassed me completely.

  5. stuartnz

    Allo Allo

    Amazingly how aptly named it was in terms of my usage - turns out to be true that like everyone else it seems, "I Shall say this only once"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Allo Allo

      Is that also why the painting of the Fallen Madonna with the big boobies by Van Clomp was sold last week?

  6. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    If you depended on this app, Google recommends you try a new app called "Allo-vera".

    It's for people who get burned.

  7. GingerOne

    Where is Google Assistant going to live after this? It's the only reason I use Allo.

  8. Gonzo wizard

    When is a Google product no longer a beta?

    The answer being... when it can contribute to Google's knowledge of us and/or support adverts.

    I'm super-cautious about adopting anything Google. I used to use Google Fit until they recently broke both the UI and the activity tracking and third party integration all at the same time. I'm one of many who are really annoyed that Inbox, the thing that makes Gmail look like a reasonably modern product, is being turned off early next year. I was at Google I/O when they announced both Allo and Duo and wondered how long yet more messaging services would last, and why they weren't improving and building on the existing products instead.

    I have no intention of adopting any new Google products and I'm actively reviewing which of those that I'm still using I can move off to a good quality third party (paid for if necessary) service. Search, Mail/contacts/calendar, maps, YouTube, Android. That's the core set of products you can probably rely on Google not to shut down. At least not in the next 18 months.

  9. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    The time is getting shorter...

    I'm now waiting for the press release that says "Google NewStuff, due to be released tomorrow, will be discontinued today. 'We're proud to be a company that kills off things that aren't working, even when we haven't released them yet'..."

  10. hellwig Silver badge

    Some of my phones still have "Hangouts"

    I'm really sick of all the bloatware Google leaves distributed about their OS.

    Seriously, pick a product and stick with it. They have the worst ADHD I've ever noticed in a multi-billion dollar company.

  11. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge


    Sounds awful.

    (With apologies to Douglas Adams.)

  12. DougS Silver badge

    Google abdicated its responsibility to Android users

    It was obvious people with smartphones wanted to talk to each other. Apple created iMessage, which is proprietary but checks the most important box - security. It is peer to peer encrypted so it is secure from snooping by either the carrier or the governments of the world.

    Google spread themselves too thin with a bunch of alternatives, and let WhatsApp take over as the default Android chat app. It was also secure from snooping but its one shortcoming was that it wasn't built into the text messaging app, so Android users still had two apps to use to message.

    Google's solution was to push a "better" SMS, which is fine except that it isn't end to end encrypted so it is still snoopable by carriers and governments. Since it will be built into their text messaging app, a lot of users will drop the superior WhatsApp to use this, and lose security as a result.

    Nice job, Google! - spy agencies of the world

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Google abdicated its responsibility to Android users

      "Google's solution was to push a "better" SMS, which is fine except that it isn't end to end encrypted so it is still snoopable by carriers and governments."

      Yes, that and the fact that it wasn't a "better" SMS at all.

    2. Snowy

      Re: Google abdicated its responsibility to Android users

      Yes WhatsApp is encrypted but when it gets your messages get backed up to your Google account the messages are not encrypted anymore.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Google abdicated its responsibility to Android users

        True, but you aren't required to have your messages backed up to your Google account.

        There's no reason Google couldn't support a user supplied encryption key so that you'd have security in your backups. That's really my only dig on Apple's security policies - while iCloud data is encrypted in transit and at rest, it isn't encrypted with a key you control. Apple is able to supply your iMessages that are backed up on iCloud in response to subpoena, because its "at rest" encryption is done with a key that Apple controls.

        Which is why I don't use iCloud for backups, and instead am forced to use iTunes for backups which does use an encryption key I supply. I assume that similar would be possible with Android, albeit less convenient.

  13. Jeyell

    Google launches Crematorium app

    Google is replacing their Be-lo app for app retirement with the new Crematorium app. They have developed Crematorium to cater for their higher volume of app retirements. Many often criticised Developers found bits of python and JavaScript code of retired apps scattered in public places. Google denied reports that Be-lo couldn't handle the capacity of retirements and was indeed full.

    Crematorium brings their new codeFIRE and Automatic Sunset Harnessing technologies to market.

    1. Andy Non

      Re: Google launches Crematorium app

      It's the hot app to die for.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to Google Labs

    Google is all about two things: (1) experimentation; (2) raising the revenue needed to pay for more experimentation. Anyone who has used their commercial products knows for Google, customer support is a box they check because the suits tell them they have to, but little else. When my company was using the (eventually cancelled) Google Search Appliance I was amused to find Google Enterprise support's hours of operation excluded evenings, weekends and major US holidays. The reason most of those who work at Google are there is to do amazing computer science, not serve the urges of pathetically grasping consumers. The founders and leadership of Google like the money that personal data trading and selling tracking systems to totalitarian dictatorships bring. How the divide between those two groups inside Google will be resolved is going to be the entertainment ride of the century.

    In the meantime, really, don't get attached to any particular Google service for consumers. That includes Drive and Gmail. Go ahead and use them, for sure, but don't build your life around them. Remember Reader? Hangouts? Need I go on? There are lots of alternatives, of course, big and small. But I guess the mantra of 21st century tech for all of us should be, "Always have a Plan B".

  15. JohnFen Silver badge

    Another reason

    "Google's adoption of the RCS profile has resulted in telcos asking OEMs to include it in handsets."

    Another reason that I can't wait until I can escape the madness that is the current Android landscape.

  16. nichobe

    Wouldn't it be nice

    If we could have a Google Voice / Android service that could be the equivalent of iMessage, and then have iMessage and Google Message/Voice allow full-fledged communication. What would be even better is to allow IP calling between the two services, have ti available cross-device/cross-platform. Surely these two behemoth companies realize that their customers are fully integrated within their walled gardens and won't budge so now would be the time to allow this to happen. It would allow us to remove all the other messaging apps we have installed on our devices and really clean things up a lot. At the moment everything defaults back to SMS and maybe RCS in the future but I don't think this goes far enough.

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