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Google's Allo is finally getting a desktop client

One of the main drawbacks of Allo has been the lack of a desktop version, but it looks like that's about to change. A tweet from Google's VP of Communications Products Nick Fox shows a screenshot of Allo running on the desktop.

From the screenshot, it looks like Allo will follow in the footsteps of WhatsApp, offering a web client that runs in your browser before rolling out a full-fledged desktop app. The web version will support Google Assistant, and offer similar functionality as the mobile app, including emojis, stickers, smart replies, and the ability to share media.

It's unclear if the web version of Allo will be an extension of the phone, like WhatsApp, or if Google is looking to pull information directly from the cloud (à la Hangouts). The latter could mean that Google is lifting the one-device limit, making Allo available on multiple devices at the same time.

We don't know how the signup process will work, or how the app will sync messages. Fox tweeted that the desktop client is in "early development," so it could be a while before it's available for all users.

As for Allo itself, interest in the app nosedived after the initial weeks, mainly because of its limitations when compared to other messaging apps. Allo still doesn't offer a way to restore messages when switching devices, the app lacks SMS integration, and you can't make calls using the service.

With WhatsApp steadily rolling out new features and offering an all-in-one messaging platform with voice and video calls, it's getting harder to convince people to switch to Allo just for the sake of Google Assistant.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

29 Comments
  • Does SMS work all with this yet?
  • "It still doesn't do SMS" - Look at the top of the article ;)
  • Seeing as how I can read ,I asked in the comments because the article won't load but the comments section will and I'll get an email about the reply. But thanks !
  • Then why does it exist?
  • Nobody knows.
  • This thing is just a complete failure. It has no purpose, no reason to live. I bet I can count on my fingers how many ppl actually uses it.
  • This.
  • What is the purpose of Allo? Why does it exist?
  • Google has stated that Allo is the messaging app for consumers. It doesn't require an account, it works over WiFi, and it doesn't require carrier support. Similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messebger. Hangouts is geared toward Enterprise because you need an account to use it. Google Messages is an app that carriers can install as the default messaging app that does SMS and RCS messages.
  • Not everyone uses SMS.
  • Yet they treat customers who do use some of their products poorly... Hangouts.... Which I use... On Fi.... It's the best option... Really down on google today after the router debacle.... Nightmare of a time setting up all connected devices once I reset my router... And still can't get Sonos to work... Although I think that's a Sonos issue... As anytime there's a wifi mishap Sonos is a complete ***** to get it to recognize the network again or to set it up from scratch once it's already been set up. If allo can't fall back to SMS to send messages to all users ... Not just allo users then it is a complete failure... Nothing wrong at all with Hangouts... They just needed to treat it better
  • I dont get what the hell it does?
    It sounds like an overly complicated sms app. But with AI? But why allo if there is google assistant?
  • But it does even do SMS. So...It's really is useless.
  • I'll keep using Hangouts as long as I can keep doing everything in one app.
  • Allo was a good idea utterly failed in functionality and execution. Bad ideas after bad decisions compounded by an app that at best is half baked. Part of me does understand why this happened. Hangouts for all it features. Can be just a jumbled mess to use. Why was that? Because they kept adding features without really making the app better. So what happens, people complain and Google misinterpreted what they were saying. Allo and Duo should have been a ground up rewrite of Hangouts. For so much of the features that Hangouts got right were tossed with these two apps. Now we are seeing the first steps of righting the ship. It maybe too little too late. And that's sad, this should have been soo much better.
  • "One of the main drawbacks of Allo has been the lack of a desktop version" *Lack of SMS support
  • The fact that it didn't launch with a desktop app, multi device sync and SMS made this a non starter for me. It's useless. It's a pretty face and nothing more. Also why bother with a web app? Just going to stick with telegram. It's better and keeps your chats private.
  • All 17 Ally users are rejoicing.
    And sending each other stickers.
  • What is Google's freaking problem? Give us SMS or this is going to fail.
  • Google iDi*ts still dont know what to do: destroyed Hangouts, Allo, Duo ... what else will the iDi*ts will "bring" us? Incompetent Google imbeciles...
  • They'll combine both Allo and Duo together in one simple app /s......and call it "Duollo"....lol
  • I like the stickers in Allo which is odd to say out loud but I really wish they had just left Hangouts alone ad added the stickers to it... it to this day makes ZERO sense to me why they worked so hard to merge IM and SMS into one app only to start splitting it apart again... Hangouts worked.. why they trying to fix non broken things?!?!?
  • they just updated "Messenger" to "android message", a long lasting coding session which finally brought to us a new name. now how can you guys think that allo would include SMS support after the name change of the default SMS app? i get it that in the states this is a thing, but in other regions of this planet, SMS is not really a big deal and messengers need to be able to do seriously much more. and google proved since a long time, they are simply not capable.
  • It would be better if Duo and Allo coexisted on desktop!
  • we will just wait for couple of quarters to see death of these 2 apps.
  • I don't use Allo much, but I like Duo a lot. Duo has pretty much replaced Hangouts for my Android video call needs. I think my contacts prefer the simplicity and video quality of Duo compared to Hangouts.
  • This should be filed under the "who cares?" category. I have no desire to use Allo, unless Hangouts goes away. And even then, Allo has no SMS capability.
  • website screenshot sure looks like the new Google Voice. if only they could be different but play together.
  • Allo lasted 2 days on my phone. Duo lasted until what's app added video.