If you are anything like me, you look at Google’s messaging platforms and watch with a bit of envy as they add feature after feature to Allo. While expected, it is still a bit difficult to watch a messaging platform continue to get all sorts of fun and interesting features while missing some very important ones.
Everyone’s needs are certainly different, but I think one of the biggest barriers to entry for Allo right now is the lack of a desktop option. Coupled with this issue is the lack of multi-device support. In some ways, they are different parts of the same issue.
What Needs To Happen
In a nutshell, what needs to happen is twofold. First, Allo needs to be able to be used on more than one device. If my Hangouts account was restricted to only my phone, there’s no way I’d be using it.
Second, Allo sorely needs a desktop/web version. Now, if the previous issue is fixed, Chromebook users won’t really have this issue any longer. We’ll simply install Allo on our Chrome OS device and use it there.
For real reach, however, there needs to be an easily accessible version for Windows and Mac OS users as well. A web app or Chrome extension takes care of this rather easily and would give the service a great deal more reach.
The Desktop Issue Is About To Be Solved
While I can’t speak to the multi-device issue, we at least have a better timeline on when we could finally see a desktop version of Allo.
Take a look at this tweet and response below:
Amit Fulay, Head of Product – Google Allo, Google Duo & WebRTC, is obviously very familiar with the project and its timeline. A tweet from him about the desktop version of Allo coming in a few weeks is not just exciting, it is possibly game-changing.
Allo Is Great, Regardless of What You’ve Heard
Allo has unfortunately become the butt of many jokes and a favorite target for some pretty serious internet hate.
Missing multi-device support, a desktop solution, and integrated SMS have all contributed to the overall ire of users. Two of these issues could be solved soon and I think there is a real chance Allo could still be a success.
While SMS support would be cool, I don’t think it is necessary. Tons of people use WhatsApp without SMS support. Instant messengers don’t have to send SMS to be successful. Heck, I know tons of people who use Hangouts without touching the now-defunct SMS support. I’m one of them.
The small features and fun additions combine to make the overall experience of actually using Allo pretty fantastic apart from the current glaring issues. With a desktop solution looming, perhaps some of the nay-sayers will give Allo the chance it deserves and we could see this app finally become what it should have been from day one.