When Google announced Allo at Google I/O last year, probably they never thought of creating an iMessage for Android. If that’s true, I don’t know what they were thinking launching another messaging app. Regardless, with how the hype built around Allo, with fans and critics expecting Google to get it right this time around, there were high expectations. What we got however were not fully developed apps but ideas. Idea version 1.0 which the company promised will develop into mature communication apps.
Google does seem committed to making Allo work and they are looking for user feedback regarding the same. Allo lacks a lot of features that are rather basic and expected out of a messaging app. The first step towards making Allo the app we deserve, and want, is a web interface.
Google’s VP of communications products teased the above image of Allo on the web currently in “early development”. The screenshot appears to be of a Chrome window, running on a Mac. Some would have preferred a native Windows or Mac app but with Chrome’s notification features it is essentially like a native app, only on the web. If that’s not enough there are some excellent utilities like Franz that turn web apps into more usable chat apps.
The web interface looks clean and white like Allo’s native Android and iOS apps. Also seen in the screenshot is the Google Assistant, coming to your desktops along with Allo. If you did not already know, Allo currently is only limited to a phone, does not even work on a tablet. It works by signing up with your phone number much like Whatsapp. An interface that works for desktops will certainly be a big improvement, but whether it will help Allo attract lost users is a big question mark.
I don’t think it will, not until there is SMS support that works nicely along with Allo’s internet based messaging service without confusing the hell out of users. That is one thing that will set Allo apart from the competition. There are only a few apps on Android that can do it, and they hardly make it any simpler. As to when can we see Allo on our desktops, I reckon not very soon since it is still in early development. Nevertheless its a step in the right direction. What do you say?