In late 2016, Google Allo was unveiled. For the uninitiated, Allo is a messaging app from Google that aims at replacing the Google Hangouts on mobile phones.
The application, alongside video messaging app Google Duo, took the place of the Hangouts app in the group of default apps that come pre-installed on Google phones when the Pixels came out last year. In the past, all Android devices came preinstalled with Hangouts, but this time around, users of the app had to manually enable it via the Play Store before actually using it. Google has since then confirmed that Hangouts will not be leaving the Play Store mobile arena, but it will focus more on the business aspects of the game.
As you can see, we’ve already mentioned three Google-owned apps – Allo, Duo and Hangouts. There’s a fourth dubbed Messenger, which handles SMS messages only. To many, this messaging system is a bit messy. Hangouts is still considered as the best for many and this is despite the fact that Google Allo brings the power of the company’s AI Assistant to your fingertips. It combines services of these other three apps by allowing users to exchange instant messages, make video calls as well as use it as the default SMS app.
In a bid to address this issue, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt said that at some point, the best performing app could cannibalize the rest of the group. Well, it appears that this time is almost here and so far, it seems Google Allo will be the one taking over the services of Duo.
According to fresh reports from 9to5Google, the search engine giant’s next move with Google Allo could see them integrate the features of Google Duo into the former. This information comes from a code for the latest Google Allo 11. Apparently, the code says that this version of Allo will allow users to initiate Google Duo voice and video calls without leaving the app. There will be dedicated buttons introduced specifically for this purpose, but the folks at 9to5Google believe that these buttons could simply launch the main Duo app, instead.
If you are trying to initiate a Duo call from within Allo and the recipient doesn’t have the former app installed, a link will be generated and sent to them via their Allo app, asking them to download and install Duo from the Play Store. Furthermore, the code also confirms that the search engine giant is working on Google Assistant settings that will live within the app, but for now, we can’t really tell what exactly the plan here is.
The upcoming Google Allo 11 should also include QR codes for groups, a feature that allows users of the app to quickly scan codes and jump into group conversations on Allo. With the Google I/O 2017 set to begin this week, it’s possible that the new version of Allo will see the light during this event. Stay tuned.