Google Allo Will Soon Be Put Out Of Its Misery
Google will reportedly be announced the end of Allo soon, according to a report out of 9to5Google. Google Allo was announced a little over two years ago as a new chat app that would do everything for everyone. Google wanted it to replace Hangouts, and up until 2018, it appeared that was still the case. With Google beginning to transition away from Hangouts – creating Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for its enterprise customers – and launching new features for Allo, including the much anticipated desktop app. However, this all changed when Allo’s lead left Google for Facebook in January of 2018. Shortly after, Google pushed out the last major update to Allo, and a few months later on it paused development for the app. Since then, there hasn’t been any meaningful update to Allo, and those that are still using Allo have been complaining of a ton of bugs in the app.
Google Allo was supposed to be Google’s answer to messaging. A problem that Google has had for many years now, and continues to debut new chat and messaging apps to fix the problem. Though none of them have really fixed the problem just yet. And now, Google is going to be shutting down two of its many messaging apps, at nearly the same time. Though no specific time-frame has been given about when it plans to announce the shut down of Allo, but Hangouts isn’t planned to shut down until sometime in 2020 – that news was in relation to its roadmap. But because of the Hangouts news last week, and the response to that news Google has reportedly decided to push back the release of the news that it is shutting down Google Allo. It is entirely possible that Google could wait until after the holidays to make it official.
Background: Google announced Allo at Google I/O back in 2016. It was announced alongside Duo, which were both supposed to be taking the place of Hangouts at some point. Many were questioning why Google was breaking video chat away from regular chat, and debuting yet another new chat app. Google was sure that users wanted more apps, not less apps that did more things. The two apps were launched later that year. Google was pushing updates to Allo pretty quickly that fall, once it did launch. In fact, the Google Assistant was launched in Allo before it was launched on the Pixel that year. Allo had a ton of promise, but Google just could not keep up with the product for some reason.
The straw that broke the camel’s back here, though, was the fact that Allo’s lead left Google to head over to Facebook earlier this year. Though that wouldn’t kill off an entire product, the fact that Google did not name a new lead for Allo did. On top of that, Google sent a majority of the Allo team over to Android Messages – yet another messaging app from Google. Basically abandoning Allo less than two years after it was made available to users. The team over at Android Messages spent the past eight months porting over all of Allo’s features to Android Messages, which essentially meant that Google was getting ready to shut down the service. This is pretty unfortunate, as it means that Google’s own users can’t even trust Google at this point. This year, Google has shut down a ton of services, including two messaging apps. Arguably both Allo and Hangouts needed to be shut down though, seeing as Google’s biggest issue is that it has so many different messaging apps available, and seemingly can’t find a way to create a single chat app that will work across the board. Thought that is what Allo was supposed to be, but it ultimately was not.
Impact: Shutting down services is not something new from Google. It has been doing this for more than a decade. Typically it will announce a list of services it is shutting down around the spring time, which many coined as Google’s Spring Cleaning. Though that hasn’t happened for a few years until this year. In 2018, it has announced that it is shutting down Google+, YouTube Gaming and Inbox. While Hangouts and Allo are only reportedly shutting down, not completely official yet. Though given the sources, it’s likely to be true. As expected, there has been backlash on all of these services being shut down, and this is because there are passionate Google fans that use all of these services, though all of them were not surprises to be shut down. Especially when it comes to Hangouts and Allo, seeing as they haven’t gotten any meaningful updates in over eight months. That’s a pretty long time for a product that is actively being developed.
Keep in mind that Google has not yet made it official that it is shutting down Allo or Hangouts, though the Hangouts team has basically said that it is shutting it down for consumers and moving everyone over to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet – its enterprise version of Hangouts. But when it comes to Allo, there’s no word on where Google wants its users to go. It’s likely that Google is going to release a new messaging app at Google I/O next year (2019), which is going to annoy some people. Seeing as Google unveils more chat apps than it does versions of Android at this point, only to shut them down a few years later. However, there have been reports that the next big “Android Problem” that Google is going to solve is messaging. So there is a chance that Google is going to be shutting down all of its existing messaging apps and creating one that rule them all. But, we have heard that before when Hangouts was announced to replace Google Talk. We also heard it again when Allo and Duo were announced only two years ago. So that’s something we should all take with a grain of salt. It’ll be interesting to see what Google says when it does officially announce that Allo is being shut down.