Google has a history of launching too many message apps and then pulling the rug out from under users when it realizes it needs to shut some of them down. The latest chapter in that saga plays out today as Google pulls the plug on Allo. The mobile messaging service was hotly anticipated when it came out in 2016, but the slow addition of features and oversaturation of the messaging ecosystem doomed the app. If you used Allo, now is the time to get your chat data before it’s gone forever.
Previously, Google only said that Allo would go away in March, but a banner on the Allo website makes it clear this is it. We will forever remember March 12 as the day Allo died. The app will still work if you attempt to log in or send messages today, but that won’t be the case much longer.
Allo used phone numbers as a login, similar to WhatsApp. Google hoped this would make it easier for people to start using Allo as a replacement for SMS. It also debuted features like Google Assistant, Smart Replies, and more. However, it lacked SMS integration, a desktop app, and multi-device support. Google addressed some of that with updates, but they were slow to arrive.
Last year, Google announced it was going to focus on RCS chat via its Messaging app. It didn’t technically kill Allo at that time, but it “paused” investment. At the end of 2018, Google confirmed Allo would shut down after it failed to gain traction. Google’s scattershot approach to messaging apps doesn’t inspire confidence, so that’s not surprising.
Google has added tools to the Allo app to save your chats, and you’ll want to do that today if there’s anything worth saving. In the app, go to Settings > Chat to get access to your data. Allo can export your conversations as a CSV file. Using a separate option, you can save all media in a ZIP archive. The app will stop working at the end of the day, and your unsaved data will most likely vanish.
Google has ported many of Allo’s popular features into the Messages app. Duo, the video chat app that launched alongside Allo, has been installed on more than a billion Android devices — that’s ten times more than Allo. Google continues to invest in Duo, which recently got support for web video chat.
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