Google Talk is dead, Hangouts is the new Slack, Project Fi users are screwed and everyone hates Allo

RIP Allo
RIP Allo (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Google seems to understand that it needs to pare its messenger story down to a few apps that cover everyone's needs (so it's easier for people to ignore them all and use WhatsApp anyway). And, to some extent, that's what is happening, but everything feels so chaotic and is changing before replacements are ready.

It just feels like Google has gone off the deep end.

Some people use the word confusing to describe Google's strategy here, but no matter what words are used it all still feels rushed — something you would expect from amateurs instead of one of the biggest tech companies in the world. It just feels like Google has gone off the deep end.

I'm going to take responsibility for what every blogger or journalist has done wrong here because some of the confusion is our fault. It's easy (and fun) to write about seemingly random changes and follow with a jab at Google for doing them. But if you break things down you can guess at Google's strategy.

  • Hangouts is now a proper enterprise tool. Or at least it will be. Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat sound like, together, a potential Slack replacement for every company that uses Google Docs. Seeing what it will (hopefully) be capable of, I imagine Mobile Nations is going to give it a spin because we are a Google Docs shop.
  • Google Talk is dead. It needed to die so the places it lives can be used for Hangouts Chat. Nobody uses the Google Talk app on their phone or tablet, and while having it tied to Gmail is great, having Hangouts Chat there is better for the people who live in Gmail all day. They are the people who will use Hangouts Chat to talk to their demanding boss from Toronto (Ed note: Damnit, Jerry). Or something.
  • Allo is Google's app for people who don't want to use SMS. And that is a lot of people. I had hoped Google would use Allo and Duo to provide an iMessage-like experience, but instead, it's the Mountain View version of WhatsApp. It's also a really good app, but nobody wants to use it because WhatsApp has a gazillion more users. Had Google worked things out and brought Allo to us before WhatsApp exploded, things may be different.
  • Duo is Google's video calling app. It's a really nice app with a fatal flaw: you can't set up a group call. A lot of work went into making things easy and delivering the best video feed possible for every level of bandwidth, but Hangouts used to let 15 people get together and look at each other. We are not likely to forget that and will complain instead of using Duo, or at least complain while using it. I know I will. Especially when I use Hangouts Meet for work stuff and can't use it for anything else unless I get a Google Apps account or am invited to a Hangout by someone with a Gapps account. WTF, Google?
  • Android Messages is one thing Google is doing right. Too bad it depends on your carrier to also do it right, and that will take forever and an act of God because your carrier wants your friends to switch to it rather than make its features available to users on another provider. I wish Google was working on some way for people using Android Messages to have a great IM experience with each other without using SMS to do it. But, technically, they have Allo for that.
  • Google Voice has been improved so it's a nicer experience for when you want to send texts from your tablet or use the same number on more than one phone. Unless you use Project Fi. Then you're screwed. Also, why is there no screw emoji? They have "ear of Maize" so it will have to do. 🌽
  • Supersonic exists to give us one more thing to wonder about and for Russell Holly to talk to himself and the Supersonic help chat bot.

Now for the big question: How the hell do you make all these changes without pissing everyone off and confusing the hell out of a person who just bought their first Android phone and wants a replacement for iMessage?

This stuff is hard, and the way Google is doing it makes it seem even harder.

You don't. That means you probably should be changing everything all at once.

I won't pretend that I would be a good businessman. I have a hard time deciding what side to get with my steak or what socks to wear. I imagine some really smart people in expensive suits sitting at a giant mahogany table using slides and big words to make these decisions, but then I see them in action and realize it could just as easily be a bunch of folks who tumbled out of a clown car. I have no idea what Google is thinking, and it's kind of hard to assume they have a comprehensive plan.

Google I/O is coming. It would be a great time for someone to explain something. If they do, we'll tell you all about it. And if they don't we'll keep scratching our heads and guessing at what they have planned.

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.

  • Great article as always. Loved the clown car comment. And the dig at Daniel haha
  • How was that a great Article? They basically just rode their own terrible clickbaity title. How are Google Fi users screwed for example? Because a lot of people like myself came to wonder about that (since just about everything else in the title is old news already), only to find out nowhere in the article does it talk about Google Fi again.
  • Exactly! The only reference was that if you use Google voice *and* project Fi you're screwed. I was really worried, and literally only clicked, because I have Project Fi. I was worried I was about to lose my cell service lol
  • I lost 50% of mine when they made the switch and so did a whole lot of other people who wanted to use a second line through Google Voice. That was part of the reason I paid real money for Voice for years. Now I'm screwed. I learned long ago to ask questions before I assumed someone was wrong :)
  • I'm a Project Fi user - and very happy with the service - and I've never once used Google Voices, don't even really know what the hell it is. So I guess not all PF users are screwed. But I especially get Jerry's point b/c I switched from an iPhone to Android a year ago (kinda why I have no idea what Google Voices is) and am happy but the only thing I miss from my iPhone days is iMessage. And yes making the transition after 8 years of continuous iPhone use I can't for the life of me understand what the hell Google's strategy is for messaging.
  • You can't figure out what it is because they don't have one.
  • Google uses the Hydra approach to messaging and every one of those heads needs to be examined!
  • :D
  • If they ever figure it out then android will get even better. Till then Apple will continue to sell many iPhones and I will leave my mom on an iPhone. Android phones are just too confusing and convoluted.
  • Yup. Most people I know want an iPhone just because of iMessage.
  • You read my mind. I'm so jealous of my friend's iMessage app. I tried a couple apps from the store but they are half baked. Just not worth the effort. I might break down and buy the iPhone 8 when it comes out bc I want iMessage.
  • What's the great thing about iMessage? I get it does direct messaging, but what's that major thing you don't have now?
  • Seamless and easy transition between IM and integrated sms. Imessage sends im automatically to anyone with imessage, and sms/mms to anyone that doesn't. Google can't seem to accomplish this in any of their apps. I use hangouts now, and it's the closest they've come to the features and ease of use. But, you still have to tell it to send IM or sms. I mean, until April/May when they end the SMS integration in hangouts, then we have no single app that's even close.
  • Please try invi on the Play Store, which also offers transparent SMS/MMS fallback when you or your friend doesn't have a good network and is much smoother than Hangouts, and let me know what you think! There's a lot of new things coming up that will ship before May 22nd so you'll probably find much more reasons to switch before SMS gets removed from Hangouts.
  • No thanks. It's hard enough to convince people to switch to a official Google app, no way will they rush out and get a questionable 3rd party app, from a small time developer. How are you monetizing this? It doesn't have in app purchases listed, so I assume ads every where? Or future plans to charge to unlock features that's are currently free? Sorry, no. I want a Google solution to this, I'm sure it's a fine app though.
  • It does what Facebook Messenger does, the only other company to accurately mimic iMessage, but not as stable or sleek.
  • Hey, I agree with Adrien. invi SMS Messanger truly replaces the stock Android texting app. Like Apple’s iMessage, it seamlessly supports both instant messaging and SMS in one conversation. Here is the link:
  • I have an iPhone 6 and an HTC 10. I use iMessage and Hangouts. What's the difference other than iMessage only works on my iOS devices and Hangouts works on everything?
  • I use hangouts, and have used imessage in the past. There's not much difference except the UI in imessage is better, and it will automatically send im or SMS depending on the recipient having imessage or not. But, hangouts being a competitor or at least close to same features ends when they remove SMS integration next month. Then what will we have that's even barely comparable to imessage? Nothing.
  • Me too. I don't understand how fragmenting things is a good thing. I've already got one foot in other products (WhatsApp for example) and this just pushes me closer to them. I already miss the product that hangouts was six months ago. They should have just concentrated on making hangouts better/more feature rich. Like it or not that's what Facebook is doing with messenger.
  • Agreed. Since they disabled merged messages, hangouts has become generic and disappointing. They really should've put the effort into improving it years ago. Instead of all these new messaging apps, messenger (Android messages), allo, duo, GV message app, etc. Pretty lame. I like how they always shift the dumbing down/feature removal blame on surveyed users not being able to figure out how the app works or see the difference between sms/mms/hangouts messages. They must be surveying the most inept, non-tech savvy, and stupid people in the world. Even my 70yo mom figured it out without any problems.
  • I used Google Voice and had no issue dropping it for Project Fi. The only reason I clicked this article was because it said I was screwed as a Project Fi user, and I'm not seeing that.
  • Should read "no issue" not "to issue." This site won't let me edit from my phone.
  • If you install the app, you'll be able to edit.
  • You exist by Google voice in project fi. It's managed by hangouts and you have to have Google voice on a project fi phone for it to work. Just can't use it like everyone else because hangouts manages it.
  • It's Google Voice not Voices...And being a Project Fi user you should know that Google Voice is what provides the back end to Fi. It also provided for a free phone number and integrated with Hangouts...
    Which is why Project Fi users can't have both a project Fi number AND a Google Voice number attached to the same Google Account...And why Fi users can't actually access Google Voice (because it reroutes them to Fi)..
    I believe that's why they are saying Fi users are screwed..Because they can't access the new improved GV
  • Fwiw, Google's announcement had nothing to do with Fi. You can continue using Project Fi on Hangouts. Not sure why Jerry is implying differently.
  • Please tell me how to get a second number through Google Voice like I have had since it was GrandCentral. That is all I want out of Google Voice
  • This story should be called, "All of Google's messaging option are great! Why are there so many messaging options! I liked it better when I only had one option and it was just ok(iPhone). Choice is confusing and hard. I want my mommy.(iPhone)
  • Yea, same here. They had me worried for a minute there.
  • I never understood the love for iMessage, I used it not a week ago on a friend's phone, it's just a texting app, nothing terribly fancy about it. I use Messenger for Facebook/SMS/MMS, works great, has nice sleek symbols and easy to track notifications.
  • Great article. Yeah Google is doing lots of "things" these days. The worst part is I/we have zero idea which direction they are heading in. Maybe that is the strategy? Keep em guessing!
  • Horrible strategy if so XD
  • The best IM app that does video and audio is BBM. It's biggest shortcoming is not having a desktop version and not having the ability to continue your chat on the desktop. The next best is Skype as it does have a desktop option. If BBM had a desktop option and the ability to have both secure and encrypted private conversations and regular conversations would be awesome.
  • I love BBM. The ads are annoying because they show up as conversations and have to be deleted. The customized pin is nice. I still pay $1 a month for it, and have a few friends that I talk to regularly on it. I wish it were more widely used.
  • You pay AND get adds? Lol. Suckers.
  • You can pay another $1/month to suppress ads. Getting a custom username/PIN is a separate $1. *shrugs* to each his or her own.
  • The ads and spam invites sent me and my family away from BBM. Which is a shame because it really did have everything you need....
  • I agree BBM is a pretty good messaging app 👌
  • I loved BBM when I had it. In its prime, it was awesome having read receipts (by default; in iOS you need to opt-in for it, and your friends might not've). The few times I used BBM Audio was lovely. Crystal clear! I had to retire the app on my phone when my BBM list dwindled to three users. :(
  • That's a great way to start a conversation. Lol.
  • Corn holed
  • Do people want a seamless Android/Googlr to Android/Google iMessage clone? Because that won't solve iOS to Android Messaging...
  • That would be RCS. And Apple is very likely to not support RCS.
  • I think Apple would be pressured into supporting RCS.
  • TBH Apple barely supports MMS. Their vision was and still is "it's to send pictures to your non-iPhone friends, and few other things". I would be glad but a bit surprised to see Apple putting a team of engineers on it. For them to even think about it, RCS would need to seriously take off with a huge number of users actually benefitting from it. So let's wait for this to happen first :)
  • I'm working on an app that does precisely this, among other things, and I believe transparent IM from phone number communication offers many benefits even though it's not plugged to Apple's iMessage (since it obviously can't legally):
    - You get to finally have one app where you can reach *all* of your friends
    - This app gives you the best of both SMS/MMS and IM: if you or your friend has a spotty connection it will automatically fall back to SMS/MMS. Think of big games, road trips, and a lot of regular places across USA, depending on your carrier. Now your texting app still works!
    - We detect iPhone recipients and optimize your content specifically if needed. No other app does that to my knowledge. I'd love to get the feedback of people like you that have their doubts about the benefits of an "all-in-one" messaging app, please try out invi on the Play Store if you're interested by the topic: PS: We really want to support RCS very fast but Google is currently a bit reluctant to share their client. It may be a bit unstable/undocumented/not flexible at the moment, and they ultimately want to make it part of Android system APIs. We chose to wait patiently for them for now, focusing on other areas of improvement.
  • I was passing by and saw your comment, Downloaded the app and am loving it. I am using it now instead of Textra and so far it's been working great. Just wanted to let you know you're doing a great job! I also left a review on the play store. Hope you guys blow up more, because it's definitely a good contender!
  • Obligatory XKCD:
  • Ugh I know :(
    Believe me we wish we could integrate with other services. We're so ready to do so technically but there's obvious interests that make companies like Apple, Facebook and Google close their platforms and actively enforce it (although we've had better policies from Google in the past, they just closed Google Talk)
    Who knows, maybe one day they'll open up or we'll be part of one of those companies with a plan for everybody. In the meantime we're doing our best to delight our users.
  • Dude this is awesome! Add in a "secret/encrypted chat" with timers and you have a clear winner. Excellent in the current state and I'm now on a pilgrimage to get more users. Great job!
  • Thanks buddy! Those are popular requests that we definitely want to integrate soon! IM only though. Just to make sure, you'd like end to end encryption in chats or secret inbox, or both? Anything else?
  • Please can you open you're app up for the uk? It's saying not available in my country.
  • Absolutely! Global rollout is happening soon. Google is currently featuring us for 6 weeks and we want to reach most countries by the end of the featuring. We're polishing the extra screens needed outside of USA and adding international cost protection right now. I'll message you when it's open! And if you're super impatient and willing to provide solid and brutally honest feedback, I can even send you an early access APK :)
  • Not available in Greece neither.
  • Love your app's icon - simple!
  • That's why Allo was put out for both Android and iOS... If they manage to bring RCS into Allo (which I see as part of their endgame) then yes, they would have a seamless Android-Apple iMessage clone with advanced messaging capabilities, (end to end encryption (user selectable but not default), Google assistant AI, and a web based/desktop client..
  • This is what I'm hoping for... Shortly after allo was released and no one rushed out to use it, someone from Google tweeted about features everyone was requesting and implied they were being worked on. Sms integration was one of them. Hopefully this will be added soon. I will happily switch to allo, and tolerate everything else I don't like about it, if they manage to do this.
  • Agreed Jerry! Google should pick a strategy and an app for Enterprise. And a strategy and an app for Consumers. Then send someone out to clearly explain their plans and stick to it. Google wanting users to change apps like they change underwear is getting tiresome!
  • LMAO. Great article.
  • Jesus Christ Google
  • How do you really feel Jerry? LMAO
  • I'm good here. I use Allo and got everyone I want to talk with to try it and they love it. I think most people would like it if they just tried it, For SMS or things I want to stay private I just use Signal. But for most people the situation is getting worse not better,
  • "(so it's easier for people to ignore them all and use WhatsApp anyway)" Exactly. Everyone uses WhatsApp anyway and that one is truly cross platform - works on Windows 10, on Android, on iOS and even on the defunct Windows Phone / 10 Mobile. So why should anyone care about any of Google's messaging apps?
    The average consumer doesn't even know what the hell is Allo except it's half the title of a popular sitcom. Google has lost the plot when it comes to messaging but, to be honest, no one really cares because no one is actually truly affected by that.
    And even the Hangouts...I mean... "a potential Slack replacement for every company that uses Google Docs"...that's an extremely reduced number of companies anyway. Most companies are smart and opt for Microsoft's vastly superior Office apps.
  • Great article, and this comment hit the nail on the head. Outside of the tech enthusiast world, WhatsApp​ is the current default solution.
  • Windows phone is not defunct btw... I have to use it for secure communications. It's used by the Federal government, police, FBI, etc.
  • "And even the Hangouts...I mean... "a potential Slack replacement for every company that uses Google Docs"...that's an extremely reduced number of companies anyway. Most companies are smart and opt for Microsoft's vastly superior Office apps." 73 Million paying businesses with over 1Billion total users of the paid versions as of January 2017.
  • I've been seeing many MIcrosoft Exchange to GMail/Google app conversions the last few years both at my work and at our clients. It's too good for the price. :-) Maybe DJCBS is a little out of touch on the matter. I haven't heard any of the companies complain after switching either. They're usually too busy being happy and spending less money to complain. LOL
  • Is there a reason that Google can't make this just a part of Android? I know it's tough to do when you also promote and allow a ecosystem of apps to give people choice, but at its core couldn't messaging, calling and video calls in a sense be baked in? Then allow lg, Samsung, htc etc.. put their "take" on it and allow it all to work regardless of skins, UI and carrier. App developers could use the same basic section of Android code and develop their take on messaging like they are now, but at the apps core, it would all be compatible? I don't know enough about how all this works. It just seems logically possible to do and have a better overall experience on Android.
    Your phone would still be whichever Android you prefer and the UI that comes with it, but behind the scenes it all plays nicely.
    Make any sense?
  • Well that is exactly how SMS/MMS, calendar and contacts works these days. In the good old days there where still standard for things. But these days everyone has closed their platforms so you have to use the "official app" so the platform holder can curate the whole "experience" when it comes to visuals, ads, server switches, etc.
  • Never even heard of Google talk. Voice, talk. Will their next app next week be named speak?
  • Google talk was better known as "gchat" aka the chat in gmail before it became hangouts
  • Google, a company known for abandoning products, launched one with "Project" in the name and people actually took them seriously. Wow.
  • iMessage and facetime. Two apps, I'm just saying... Just make 1 app that does sms, mms, voice, video, group. Not a different thing to accomplish with Googles resources, but with their logic it probably impossible smh...
  • RCS
  • That was Hangouts...
  • It's nothing new. It's what Google's been doing for years now, just throwing whatever ideas their developers have at the wall and seeing what sticks.
  • The problem is they also abandon what sticks as well.
  • No more space for stuff to stick!
  • Good analysis and opinion. I'm 9 months into ProjectFi and could not be happier. Hangouts is really nice on the Mac and I really like making Fi calls from the desktop. It seems rather unified and elegant if you ask me.
  • Google could solve much of this simply by merging Allo and Messages. Add a desktop app similar to Verizon Message+, and they'll be a legitimate contender.
  • That is what I wish they would do really
  • Or keep hangouts as it is because that's what it did.
  • Tell me again, how you are screwed if you use Project Fi...?
  • We're not. The one announcement that makes this go away is that Google voice absorbs the remaining functionality, or all project fi users become Gsuite users automatically. I'm really routing for the second as it would make their phone service that much more compelling to business.
  • Google Voice has been improved so it's a nicer experience for when you want to send texts from your tablet or use the same number on more than one phone.... Are they saying that this doesn't work for Project Fi clients??
  • I'm confused by the title of the article. How am I screwed being a project fi customer? I thought I read that Hangouts wasn't going to change for fi users.
  • Yes, good question.... I'm very happy with Project Fi...
  • Until anything Google offers is as secure Signal they can keep their half baked ideas.
  • another useless article from Android Central that does nothing to un-confuse the whole mess that Google is making with their chat goals... will Hangouts eventually be business only? what happens to all the non-business users of Hangouts now? isn't the word/name Hangouts better suited for non-business?
    will there be a desktop client for Allo? will chat history on Allo be searchable in GMail?
  • Such a great article, I liked how short and clear it was. I'll try to respect the same format:
    - Work on Allo has started about 2-3 years ago
    - Google started to work on making a RCS unified profile at around that time after acquiring Jibe. Working hard with Jibe's team to make a reliable client as well as working on upcoming features. But this work was as far as I know focusing solely on being integrated with Android Messages and the dialer. Meaning Allo wouldn't benefit from it.
    - Again around that time, Nick Fox took a role that would let him lead all of Google's communications strategy. What I understand is that he focused more on projects like Fi or maybe it already felt "too late" to make of Android Messages and Allo one app. But he may also simply not have wanted it: a big part of Google's plan was to push Android Messages to become default on many OEMs and carriers. And carriers, notably, like better SMS/RCS than IM, simply because they "control" it a bit more. The above information is in no way confidential, I'm just quite passionate about this topic, and even though I work close to Google and meet quite regularly with them, I'm actually working since a while on a company that launched recently an application that works like iMessage and developed in the same spirit of doing it right and polished, but also offers lots of fun features (that's just the foundations, can't wait for what's coming up!). It's called invi and it's currently being featured on the Play Store: If you have questions about Google's communications strategy or feedback about invi, even purely technical, don't hesitate to reply!
  • See the latest G Suite blog. Project Fi users get to keep a fully functional version of Hangouts, so they're not screwed at all. For them, nothing changes.
  • Hangouts was a garbage project to begin with. Allos speed and user friendly UI runs laps around it. Yes its missing a few key features, but they are working on it. Once the desktop client drops and they sync messages, people can stop crying.
  • Except Allo doesn't do anything you say it does. They aren't working on any more features than what it has now. So please read. They aren't working on a desktop client.
  • Allo is the least Googley product Google has ever released. Googled's premise is that if you use their services it doesn't matter what device or platform you are on. With Hangouts I can make or receive calls, videoconferences, or messages on any of my phones, tablets, Chromebooks etc. Allo doesn't even use my Google account; it's tied to a single @#$& phone number. And if I get a new phone, I lose all of my history! And there is no backup. WTF!!! Talk about a garbage product... who authorized letting this one out of the closet? But if you love emojis and don't care about anything else, it's a free market so have at it.
  • Yea, screw all the most requested popular features it doesn't have, at least they gave allo animated emojis. Woooo
  • I never felt allo sent or received messages any quicker than hangouts, and the feature set is pretty basic. Even the theming isn't user friendly or common sense. You have to go in and set it for each individual chat? Why? I want a default theme that I set once in the main settings and it applies to every message. Like a normal chat app. I switched all my friends and family to allo, they used it for a week, disappointed with the UI and lack of features, they all went running back to hangouts. I still have allo on my phone, no one to message just waiting to see if updates bring worthwhile, common sense features. But, the last message I was able to send to another user was back at the end of October...
  • Wow!, Yet another positive post from Jerry. I have stopped reading most articles from Android Central for a while now and often just scroll past them in feedly. The few articles i do read on here are typically by Daniel and Alex. I mean I'm sick of the negativity about Google/Android or posts completely off topic i.e. PS4 news. At least when they had the video podcasts they seemed a little more friendly and the body language helped to understand the points that they were trying to make. But AC used to be my go to page for all things Android, but now I just go to Android Police if I'm looking for all things Android with a touch of enthusiasm.
  • So you want AC to be more like iMore?
  • *shudders* One of them is plenty. They are a stain on the Mobile Nations brand. There is being a fan site and there is being a sycophant. iMore is the wrong one of those. Keep doing what you're doing AC 👍🏻
  • Everything isn't all sun shine and rainbows, nothing wrong spitting the truth. Truth is messaging on Android love it or hate it isn't where many of us thought it would be or could be at this point in time.
  • Sorry. Not going to lie and say I think Google is doing great when I think they aren't. If you found another website that can do that for you, be sure to support them.
  • I really don't care what Google does anymore I lost faith in em. Too many years, too many half baked ideas. I just wish I could use whatsapp as my default messaging app. It already does pretty much all I need already.
  • All that made my head hurt and my stomach turn. I use Hangouts because it works on my two phones, tablet, home computer and work computer. I don't need cell service in the back of a store that offers free WiFi to send a message using Hangouts. I can make voice and video calls using it. For everything else, the is Textra my SMS app. I wish all the iPhone people in my life would use Hangouts. Truth be told, I haven't really pushed it on them. I have one iPhone wielding coworker who has put it on her phone and we now message that way so I guess it is a viable cross OS option. Really apprehensive about Google screwing with it. I feel like Mountain View is woefully unaware of how much a user like me has come to depend on Hangouts as it stands. It's 2017,sending messages to people smartphone to smartphone should not be this hard.
  • Can Google Voice do this?
  • "It's 2017,sending messages to people smartphone to smartphone should not be this hard." That is truth.
  • Like you, Hangouts works well on 2 phones (Pixel and old Moto X2 with data Sim), tablet, laptop, and desktop. I don't want to loose this! Especially the two phones.
  • I love allo though.
  • It is nice. I just wish it had some basic backup and more people using it.
  • I love Allo, my messaging app of choice.
  • Dude I can't get enough of Allo. I got my whole fam on it. They don;t care as long as its cool, fast and efficient. Duo makes facetime look like god crap as well. My iPhone friends and family use duo instead.
  • The crying going on lately. People just don't like change thats all. If you just try and use the services given, you would actually like it. Instead of jumping on the negative nancy train with everyone else bashing Google. These "Android" blogs are feeling like Apple articles clowning Google lately.
  • I like and use the different communication services from Allo to Google voice to Hangouts. However, if Google doesn't stop duplicating services and provide one or a few consolidated super apps, the apps would not be adopted widely and would not be sustainable in the long run. It's almost like Google is oblivious of the competing apps that exist and already filling the roles.
  • Until SMS is not a thing anymore, google has to find a way to include it in a efficient way. The way they're doing it now is the wrong way.
  • Dog and together! Mass hysteria!
  • Hey Jerry, Soooooo What app should we use? If not on Project Fi it appears Hangouts is dead.
    Doesn't WhatsApp need to be utilized by both parties for it to work?
    Can it be used for all incoming/outgoing messages? With settings or hacked?
  • I know I'll probably get flamed for this post, but after 7 years of being a diehard Nexus user, I bought my first iPhone last week. I saw the writing on the wall with Google's messaging disaster and decided to tap out. I still use all Google Apps on my iPhone, and the experience is still completely Google-centric, just with a solid messaging App at my beck and call. Honesty, I couldn't be happier. And, the final twist is Google Apps seem even better on iPhone than Android. Go figure.
  • No reason anyone should hate on you. I use both platforms, each does something better than the other.
  • I'll go down in flames with you. I'm trading in my Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 for store credit at AT&T and getting an iPhone next week. I'm done with Android. Tired of lag, no updates and project confusion. iPhone 7. Waterproof, front facing speakers and timely updates. I'm in.
  • Not only the lag, but then the updates that break more things than they fix. WTF Google? I was locked in to Nexus for 7 years, and I was the biggest Android fan ever. Maybe it's age, maybe it's impatience, I dunno... and I hate to sound cliche, but right now I just "want a device that works." I know that's typical Apple-fan jargon, but seriously... my iPhone just works. Ugh... I tried for so long to continue loving Android, but they just kept giving me reasons to hate it. And just to clarify, I see a big difference between Google and Android. I still love Google services - I just can't tolerate the sh*t show that has become Android any longer. :(
  • At one point my two devices we're a Motorola Nexus 6 and an HTC Nexus 7 tablet. I was on project Fi. The whole nine. I defended Google and the Nexus program against all my friends and family who were using iPhones and iPads. After a while I was realizing they weren't having any issues with their phones or tablets. Like you said they just worked. I continued through with various makes and models, Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc. Then I thought maybe the Pixel phone. Well six months after it's release it's still not in stock and the one person I do know that bought one has had Bluetooth and speaker issues. Can't wait to walk into a physical store and purchase an in stock reliable phone and tablet with various choices on accessories. Cheers and thanks for the post.
  • @lipmonger Lol, I agree, and did the same thing, back in December. I still have my Pixel XL, but my 7 plus is my choice for a daily driver, loaded with all my Google apps, stereo speakers, a high degree of water resistance, and some seriously good battery life.
  • I was a major Apple fan and every few years I jump to Android to try it out... Most recently it was with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge... that was until the iPhone 7plus was released... Only difference now is that I love Google services... And surprisingly Google Apps run better on iOS than it ever did on Android! With the release of Pixel I thought it might convert me back (mostly because of Google Assistant and stock Android) but the iPhone 7plus hardware is just great and the camera is just amazing! Mind you I still use Inbox, Google Calendar, Drive, Chrome, Keep, Photos, PhotoScan, Motion Stills (which I cant believe that Google produced an app that makes Apple's Live Photos feature better then Apple did), Docs, Slides, Sheets and Hangouts for those of my Android mates using Android still (not many now).
  • Google changing the app stores name to the stupid name of "Play" pissed me off & my irritation just continues on to the this lol yes clown car of apps popping up. I like fracking like hangouts Google don't screw with it (lol I'm to blasted old to learn new tricks perhaps whatever).
  • Google wants to be king of apps and wants folks to commit to their offerings, but no one will, because every time they have committed to a Google app, it gets killed and they must find an alternative. It seems an endless cycle.
  • 🔩 🔩 🔩 🔩 🔩
  • If they still haven't gotten it right after so many years, what makes you think that they are "smart" business people? Simple (and most logical) answer is that they aren't. Google has amazing engineers but crap for management..
    During these last 2-3 years they easily could have designed a brand new app/service from scratch (with all the latest bells and whistles) on the SIDE and then release it when it's ready and only THEN start killing off existing stuff. Explain why they couldn't have...
    Instead they flooded the market with so many apps (incomplete, by the way) that people are just getting sick and tired of this.
  • Google is Hooli
  • Making allo and duo separate apps was dumb considering the competition. Google did the complete opposite of what make imessage great.
  • So basically just stick with WhatsApp.
  • Given that much of SMS guts are built into Android - ever notice how messages move over when you switch from Facebook Messenger SMS to Android SMS - I'm not sure why SMS isn't part of Hangouts, Talk, Allo, Duo, Voice etc... Just include SMS support and move on. Also include to support to chat inside my gmail window on my browser. Every new messaging app announcement feels like a step backwards.
  • How do I keep stupid articles from Android Central from showing up in Google Now?
  • On Google Now, Tap the three dots and you will have as one of the options,"Not interested in stories from"
  • I had originally hoped Allo would have SMS support and use the Google Assistant for voice commands... Google Messenger isn't bad, but it isn't up to snuff to some other third party apps... Personally I'm still waiting for this to all fall together... With Google Assistant's help in driving \ running those apps... What ever those apps will be... I still have faith in Google... Fingers crossed...
  • I don't get why everybody didn't just use hangouts. it was the perfect cross-platform messaging service. I had an iPhone for 4 months, I have no idea why iMessage was so great.
  • It was a cluttered interface and tried to do too many things.
  • Absolutelly! Hangouts was/is yes a bit cluttered but it was doing it's job and never crashed. I would love to have one app for all the messaging/videocalls (this, even if i Love Duo...
  • Absolutely spot with this article. Great write up.
  • exactly are Google Fi users screwed? Nowhere in the article does it ever talk about Fi users in general, other than the terrible clickbait title. #ShittyJournalism Welp, I guess I'm coming back to a real android news site like Android Police.
  • Ahahah , great article and SO REAL! As G suite account I love many aspect of the platform...but the messages/videochat area is just a big MESS!!