Let’s be honest. The introduction and adoption of both Allo and Duo about two and a half years ago didn’t go as Google hoped. Downloads surged shortly after announcement, but the choice to tie both services to a phone number instead of a Google Account derailed the entire effort quite suddenly.
Sure WhatsApp and Snapchat have found success using this type of system, but with a MASSIVE user base that already has a Google account, the choice to ignore this logical login method led to a much bigger problem: no multi-device support.
It took a long time for both Allo and Duo to link to your Google account (should you choose to) and it’s taken even longer to actually use those accounts to leverage multi-device support. Allo gets around this a bit with the web-driven version relying on QR codes and scanners, but I’d still rather be able to simply log into the app or web portal with my Google account of choice. This option was supposedly being worked on, but as we’ve reported, the Allo development team has paused its work to focus on Android Messages.
Duo has allowed the link to your Google account for the better part of 2018, but this hasn’t had much impact on Chromebooks for a very fundamental reason: you couldn’t install the app.
We’ve seen a Chromebook here and there get whitelisted to install Duo from the Play Store, but it has been very spotty up to this point.
Today, however, we have great news for Duo users who happen to own a Chromebook with Android apps: you can go get Duo right now! That’s right, every Chromebook we have in the office successfully installs Duo right from the Play Store and works quite well. There’s little reason to believe every Chromebook with the Play Store has this option, so head over and check for yourself if you’ve been waiting for Duo to arrive.
While Allo may not make it too much longer, both it and Duo are great apps. They do what they were designed to do and they do it really well. Nevermind both are cross-platform, so you can have your Apple-toting friends chatting with you in Duo in no time! You’ll likely never draw them away from iMessage, but that’s a conversation for another time.