Google Allo to feature end-to-end encryption, disappearing messages and built-in search

Seems like the final version of Google's Allo messaging app will feature full end-to-end encryption, ephemeral messages that disappear after a set amount of time has passed – à la Snapchat – as well as incognito chats, search mode and a lot more.

While all conversations in Allo will be encrypted end-to-end, incognito chats will provide users with a way to share temporary messages with other people. Users can set the “expiry” period of their messages from 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour, all the way down to 1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds and even 5 seconds for the most secret of secret content. This setting can be individually and easily turned on or off by either participant in the conversation. Of course, taking screenshots in incognito mode is a no go, and the same goes for trying to share your screen with Google Now on Tap. As of yet, and we are talking a test preview build of Allo here, there is no countdown timer implemented into the app, which means that you can't keep track of when a “self-destructing” message will disappear. Let's hope that Google will add this in the final version.

Apart from the amped up security and secrecy, Allo also features a very convenient built-in universal search engine. This means that users will be able to use it to search for key words across all their conversations, akin to how the search bar in Gmail works. Judging by screenshots from Allo, obtained by Android Police, the search engine will not be limited to the user's chats, but will be able to look up other things, such as Google Assistant answers and suggestions, and let the user navigate multiple results in the same search window. Allo will also feature the option to delete sent and received messages, though they will disappear only from the conversation history of the user who deleted them.

At this year's Google I/O developer conference, Google said that Allo would be released this summer, and although there is no concrete launch date, it shouldn't be too long before we see a final release of the app.

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source: Android Police (1), (2)



1. Unordinary unregistered

Nice features

2. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Agreed. Too bad it won't be integrated in the operating system like it should be. Might be another DOA messaging app from Google.

3. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Why should it be integrated out of the box? I wouldn't use it any more than I use Hangouts (never), so it'll merely be added bloatware. Those who want it can simply install it from Playstore, set it as the default messaging app and it'll be as integrated as iMessage is in iOS, if not more.

17. AlikMalix unregistered

MrElectrifyer, the idea that kiko is talking about isn't from user interface or interoperability within your phone, BUT INSTEAD setting it as a standard throughout the ecosystem where everyone knows that everyone else has it (just like making a call). That's one thing I value about iMessage and FaceTime on iOS - I can iMessage and video all ANYONE with an iPhone or iPad or iMac or iPod. I don't have to ask which video chat app they use, or ask them to install something or "add me" or etc. I would install duo or hangouts or whatever if I knew it covered all android users. But there's no standard on android when it comes to this and that's not a good thing. I do wish Apple would release FaceTime and iMessage on android. This way we can include the two of our friends in the loop and not be forced to use some third party app.

18. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

They still need to activate iMessage/Face time for it to work with their apple ID and/or phone number. So you'll still need to tell them to do that if they didn't care about it in the first place. Only difference is they have no option to remove it if they don't want it. Plus, unless all your friends use just apple products, they're useless. If Apple made iMessage and Face time available on competing platforms, it'll be a great competition for Skype. That'll be welcome by me, even if I wouldn't use it.

5. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I have mixed feelings about app integration into a mobile OS. It's nice to have a standard that everyone uses, but then it takes away from one of Android's strengths, individuality/customization. ...Though it does appear to be shaping up to be a very nice messaging app. I just really wish that Google would focus on a single app for messaging as right now they have Allo, Hangouts, & Messanger.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The problem with having apps integrated into the OS is that anytime you have to update them, you can't just update the app, you have to send out an update/patch for the OS. And with carriers involved in the update process, that means a longer time before the get to the end user. And in some cases, updates/patches were held up because if an app needed to be updated, they'd wait until there was an update for the OS to send it, and vice versa. A few years back, Android OEMs started de-integrating apps from the core OS and moving them to the Playstore. Now when an app needs to be updated, they can push it right away through the Playstore instead of waiting for the OS to need an update. It also doesn't slow down OS updates because they're working on an update for an app or two. It streamlines the whole process, and keeps things more up to date and secure.

4. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

Sounds like a great app. However, I wish Google would focus all of their attention on one messenger app, instead of having Duo, Allo, Messenger, and Hangouts. Make it one app that works seamlessly.

6. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

i can see why they might have Duo and Alo divided into separate apps as they are distinctly different in their method of communication, but your other examples are spot on.

7. janno

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

Well, end-to-ed encryption only if you jump through hoops and remember to enable it anytime you want to discuss something more sensitive with someone and get them to enable it as well. While on Whatsapp it's all enabled by default.

8. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

I really don't want deleting messages and no screenshots. Sometimes people send stupid things, especially when you are feuding with someone, and you want to show others you are right and this ruins it. One reason I don't really use snapchat that often.

9. Unordinary unregistered

Or grow up and stop relying on screenshots to show other people that "you are right". Have some dignity, child.

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, my wife has used test message logs from her Ex in court to prove that communication occurred between the two in matters regarding their daughter, in situations where it had turned into a "He said, she said" scenario. ...Resorting to calling someone a child because you disagree is a bit excessive, and I would suggest that you relax as no one here is attacked you, for your opinion.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Taken waaay out of context but ok. He clearly sounded like a child who gets into high school drama lol.

11. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Or you can grow up, take some responsibility for what you send to others, and don't expect a deleting message to absolve you of any accusations. Have some responsibility, child.

13. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

I feel like this is just a few years too late

15. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Release date?

16. emcdonald75

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Is this the app that will be updated to support iMessage-like features for Android? Or is that yet another app to wait for?

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