Google's newest attempt at creating a decent instant messaging platform, Google Allo, is finally available. Google announced the new IM service at Google I/O 2016, and a whopping four months later, we finally get to try it out.
We're still not quite sure what the future of Allo holds. Will it eventually become Android's default instant messaging platform? Will we get a Chrome and Chrome OS client? After a lackluster effort with Google Hangouts (which Google says will stick around), how much does Google really care about this new platform? For now all we can do is talk about the present, and right now Google has given us an instant messaging client that doesn't seem like it was built for the modern age.
Setup—Google? What’s Google?
Setup is very odd in that Allo doesn't use your Google account. Sign-up and identification are done entirely through your cell carrier's phone number, just like Whatsapp and Wechat. After typing in your random string of 10 digits and getting a verification text, Allo pretends you are a complete stranger and asks for your name and profile picture. Google asking for my name is definitely off-putting, especially when—thanks to my prodigious usage of Google services—the company probably knows damn near everything about me. Allo acts more like a third-party service and pretends the Google connection doesn't exist.
from Google’s latest IM client, Allo, isn’t ready for prime time