It's official: Google is shutting down Allo by March 2019

Update: Google has confirmed in a blog post that it will shut down Allo by March 2019. The company has shifted focus to Messages for texting, Duo for video calls, and Hangouts Chat and Meet for G Suite customers.

Original story follows:

Google Allo will soon see the end of its short life, according to 9 to 5 Google who has received a tip from a source familiar with the matter.

Allo was designed as the next big thing in Android messaging apps, though it never lived up to its potential. As the original article notes, there has been no activity from Google to update the platform or address a myriad of user problems, and the developer lead has left Google and moved on to Facebook.

Allo is the latest in a series of cross-platform messaging apps from Google to compete with the likes of Whats App and Facebook Messenger and offered consumer-facing features like stickers and encryption. Despite its promise, the app never gained traction and seeing it shuttered would be unsurprising.

Thankfully, we've found out that Verizon has decided to embrace the RCS universal profile standard and will be seeing a test-run of RCS messaging on Pixel 3 devices starting December 6. RCS provides many of the same features and benefits of a data-driven messaging app using a carriers SMS and data network. Seeing Verizon adoption means other carriers should soon follow suit and a rich messaging solution — sans encryption — will be available using the same SMS app you already use.

Verizon is launching RCS Chat on the Pixel 3/3XL starting Dec. 6

In the meantime, don't get attached to any messaging app on Android as you never know what its future will be.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • What is allo? Exactly. It if nobody uses it, like Google+, it doesn't really exist.
  • Many people use G+ or have at least heard of it.
  • I think most people who heard about Google+ have now forgotten about it.
  • I had to sign up for G+ at some point way back when, but quickly forgot about it's existence and never used it again. I would assume most G+ users had similar experiences.
  • What the hell is G+ and allo?
  • If only you knew what the hell Google was.
  • Yea we use it to login to sites because its a dummy account that has only generic information shared.
  • I use it all the time. I've got a few group chats, and it's my wife and I's primary communication app. I'll be sad to see it go.
  • It's really good, so too bad it was late to the show and missing crucial features like automated backup and restore from day one. I couldn't recommend it for months.
  • Hmm.. how do you have group chats when you are the only user?
  • I echo your comments. We will miss it. . Now to replace it with something.
  • It seems that the December 5th security patch might have killed it for me. I can't seem to get messages to send through Allo on either my Pixel or my Pixel 2 XL. Sad because IMO this was a promising alternative to FB Messenger. Hopefully RCS will start rolling out soon before they kill off Hangouts for consumers.
  • Looks like Google wants Android Messages is going to be the one stop solution for all messaging needs.
  • Can messages do anything without a cell signal or wifi calling though? Isn't messages strictly sms?
  • You can use messages via your desktop.
  • > You can use messages via your desktop. Only if your default messaging app is Android Messaging and your *phone* can send SMS. To answer OP question -- Android Messages are useless without the SMS service.
  • Actually you can use it outside of sms. If your carrier supports it, which is the catch. For the group chat I use on all most of us are on Rogers (in Canada) that supports rcs, however I'm about to change providers which doesn't support it yet so messages won't be of much use for me. Will have to look at signal or whatsapp
  • You can use it without a cell signal but you do need wifi calling. I use it at work on wifi while on airplane mode all the time and messages still go through and are received without a hitch.
  • I love Allo. It is awesome, but this is a shock to no one. Google is the laughing stock of the messaging world of course, and this just adds to their legend. What a great app, too bad ..
  • I'm waiting for a Google IO or some such where they announce a new service or product and change it's name or cancel it during the actual presentation.
  • So I am on Google FI and using the Messages app, except that I have gotten most of my iPhone family members to message me using Allo. So now they have to go back to the iPhone messaging app(not facetime cause they don't use it). So does Google Fi use RCS?
  • This is the issue that I had. 90% of my friends have iPhones and I successfully converted them over to Allo. I doubt iOS support for RCS in the near future so looks like we're gonna be looking for another messaging app. What a waste....
  • Never used Allo. I am a confirmed Hangouts user - until they frickin' shut it down!
  • i never even said hello.
  • Allo, Duo, Hangouts, Google+.... Does anyone actually use them other than a few tech geeks?
  • Let's see. Google developed an all in one app years ago (hangouts). Works amazing for video chat, IM, texting (if you are on Google Voice), and VoIP calls. They decided that app wasn't good, so they created several separate apps that no one uses, and seem confused that no one wants to use them.
  • Your comment is true. I never understood why they didn't make an all in one program from the beginning. Hangouts, Allo, Messages. Pick one and build on it.
  • Allo wasn't bad at all. It was actually very good. The problem and the lesson here (that Google won't learn) is that you can't make a product (Hangouts) replacement if it's not 100% replaceable. Initially, unlike Hangouts, Allo did not have a web component nor a video component, whereas Hangouts did. That's why people still use Hangouts today and hardly used Allo. Allo was useless.
  • Couldn't agree more. When you come out of the gate late it needs to be a finished product. Not one with half the features you want today and the rest TBD.
  • Ugh Allo was my go to messaging app. Google make up your minds please.
  • Just another thing that Google intros, keeps for a short time, then abandons. No wonder people can't ever really rely that their products will be around long term.
  • I really like the way Allo is set up. I don't mind switching back to Android messages for everything but I think Allo has a much better layout. I kind of wish they would somehow mesh the two together instead of just sunset Allo.
  • Here we go again - come on Google, make your mind up... please!
  • Called it!
    Now.. Google.. This time try listening to the people about how a good messaging app should work
  • I never said Hello. Or to duo either.
  • You can't relay on Google anymore.
    They do have reputation for taking dumb decision. Pixel 3 is the best example. I will not astonished even they decide to kill Android itself just to introduce fuchsia os. My entire designer circle use allo for sharing design files and for having a quick chat.
    Google should add calling option in allo, rather killing it. 😠
  • Used it and loved it. What are good, secure alternatives that aren't owned by FB and have a modern aesthetic?
  • That is my question too.
  • My wife and I use Allo everyday to communicate. I liked the fact we could send videos and pics with almost original quality and how it works over wifi signal. Sucked that it could not be used for all of your regular text messages as well. Hopefully with this RCS support coming soon that could help take android messages to the next level. Hate to see Allo go, but hopefully they have something bigger and better planned for the Android world.
  • How about Google grows some balls and integrate Duo into the dialer without carrier intervention so that Android users can use video calling straight from the stock dialer.
  • I and my family actually use Allo as there is way too much noise and unnecessary crap on WhatsApp
  • Although not on FB I've used Google+ with specific closed groups. We've used it for meetings, and sharing very large videos. With team members across the globe it's worked very well for us, going on several years. Not sure why Google+, that's what was decided so I started the account solely for that purpose. Facebook probably could have been used to accomplish the same goals. I guess one can share large 25+ meg files on FB as well. Other than that it was a meeting format that kept notes that we could review later. A format we also believed to be a closed loop of meeting participants.