Now that Google Allo has officially been released, there are people with lots of questions out there. One thing for sure is that Allo is just another instant messaging app that takes the usual direction – offer the same services, but with small tweaks here and there.
One of the hailed features of Google Allo is its ability to take advantage of Google Assistant – the new and more advanced Google Now. This AI-based feature lives within Allo and it can be summoned by simply typing “@google” without the quotes. The app also adds an incognito mode where one enters into an end-to-end encrypted messaging zone where messages can also be set to disappear after a predefined period. Other than these, there is really nothing different that Google Allo brings to the table.
This has even led to many questioning whether Allo can be used in place of the traditional SMS app on the phones, like with the case of Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. Well, for now, there is no such compatibility within Google Allo. On the contrary, Google Allo lets you chat with someone who is not using the app on their phone via SMS. So, how does it work?
Well, when you tap on a number that is not on Google Allo, you will be warned that the message you are about to send will go as an SMS. The sent message will be delivered to the intended recipient, but it will not show your number as the sender. Instead, your phone number is sent as part of the message alongside your full name. The recipient can then respond to the message as an SMS and send it back to the derived number, which will, in turn, show up in the Google Allo conversation.
Keep in mind that registering an account with Google Allo requires your phone number and not your Google account. The app is free to download and install on all Android and iOS devices. However, it is currently rolling out in phases, with some regions across the globe yet to see it in their local app stores.