Google Allo is now available for download
As was suggested over the weekend by Evan Blass, Google's Allo instant messaging service is now available to download. Announced alongside the video-focused Duo back at its I/O developer conference, Allo has finally begun to roll out a month later than its counterpart.
Both Duo and now Allo are tied to your phone number rather than your Google account, and where Duo concentrates on video chat, Allo touts more traditional IM fare. Comparable to the likes of WhatsApp and iMessage, Google Allo carries a number of like-minded features like sticker packs, though it does also include some unique quirks.
Allo wants to replace Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage as your primary chat appIndeed, Allo arrives with its own Assistant akin to Google Now, which can readily answer your questions and queries with the '@Google' command. It's all very convenient, though one perceived downside is that there's no support for traditional SMS. Yep, if you're going to be chatting to your buddies through Allo, they'll need the app too, which is quite a big ask given that many will not wish to diversify their IM app collections any further.
On Android, at least, the perpetually backgrounded Google Play Services will ping contacts you message via Allo -- even if they have yet to download the app. Upon receiving the notification, they can even respond to your message regardless of whether Allo is installed. This will not stretch to those on iOS or any other platform but since Android belongs to Google, the company has certain carte blanche over how far its new chat app can reach. The fact that Google Play Services can act as a mediator between Allo users and non-Allo users on Android could be a major boon for Google in its quest to disrupt the major, pre-existing chat apps.
The roll-out is now taking place, though dependent on your region, it could take a while before the official Play Store / App Store links below will let you download the app. Impatient Android users can try their luck with the APK currently floating around, which can be found here.
We'll have a full walkthrough of Google Allo in the near future, so stay tuned.