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Google's iMessage competitor isn't Allo, it's texting

Messenger
Messenger

One of the main reasons the iPhone, and iOS, continues to be so compelling is iMessage, the thick blue bubble of exclusivity in the messaging space. Android users are left out, and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future — despite the occasional rumor to the contrary.

But as Android users wait for that morsel of Apple, Google is taking things into its own proverbial hands by partnering with Sprint on what could end up being a viable competitor to iMessage on Android. Powered by Jibe, a company Google acquired in 2015, Google's RCS — Rich Communication Services — uses what's known as the Universal Profile, a set of features and protocols set by the GSMA aimed at standardizing the way carriers, manufacturers and developers implement native messaging. Essentially, Google is building WhatsApp and iMessage into its own native Messenger app.

Every U.S. carrier has agreed to transition their proprietary implementations of RCS to the Universal Standard by sometime in 2017.

The features are great: real-time typing indicators and read receipts; higher-resolution photos and video (goodbye MMS), seamless and bug-free group messages, and more. They're so great that they should relieve some of the pressure from Android users who want a seamless iMessage-like experience in the native Android SMS app. Some of the pressure.

There's only one problem: RCS in its current form is limited to Sprint, and only on through one SMS app, Google's own Messenger (opens in new tab). Not only that, but despite the openness of Universal Profile and its, well, universal availability, its cloud-based backend is still controlled by Google. One could argue that as long as Big G decides not to make any big changes to an open standard (remember when Google forked WebKit for its own purposes?) and continues to work with manufacturers and carriers, things will be fine, but standards have a way of morphing over time according to business priorities.

Still, every U.S. carrier, including AT&T, which isn't actually on GSMA's list of supports, has agreed to transition their proprietary implementations of RCS to the Universal Standard by sometime in 2017. This should coincide with Release 2 of RCS's evolution, with the rollout of Messaging as a Platform, APIs, plug-in integration, improved authentication and app security. That means other app developers could build in RCS support.

But those compromises in authentication and app security — the lack of end-to-end encryption, for instance — have kept some providers and manufacturers at bay, and a comparison to iMessage less apt than it may one day be. RCS, for all of its inertia, is still a very nascent standard, while iMessage has been percolating for over half a decade, and has recently been updated to support apps, stickers and more. Then there's the $10 billion question: will Apple, even with iMessage, one day support RCS for its own text messages? Will the green bubbles be scoffed at less by iPhone users if they, too, get to see read receipts, improved group messages and higher-resolution photos and videos? Could those plain green bubble text messages one day, too, be sent over carrier's data networks using end-to-end encryption, making them impossible for the providers themselves to intercept and governments less able to subpoena?

Will Apple, even with iMessage, one day support RCS for its own text messages?

All of these improvements will certainly help users, but is there a financial incentive? And what happens when Google decides to really make a go of Allo, its own closed, AI-powered mobile messenger with big plans for WhatsApp and iMessage? Allo has undoubtedly been a huge disappointment for Google, though based on the number of entrenched messaging platforms out there I wonder if the top brass really thought it would shake out differently. Even the average near-Luddite likely has at least two messaging apps installed on his or her device — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and maybe Skype, Viber, or Kik — and increasingly Twitter and Snapchat, even Instagram, are being coopted at private communication tools. It's increasingly difficult for a company like Google — GOOGLE, potentially the most powerful influencer of user habits in the world next to Apple — to effect real change in this saturated market.

That's why RCS is so important, because its success, should it come, will be accidental. But that success hinges on cooperation between competitors, and the ability for Google to stand back and let a product take shape in the name of altruism and open standards.

A few more thoughts for the week:

  • We're rebooting our Instagram account, with an emphasis on your best photos and plenty of Stories. Between Florence and I, you can expect a lot more social content and a bunch of really fun ways to interact with AC directly. Should be fun!
  • Speaking of fun, Modern Dad is really great, and Phil — who I promise will be back on the podcast soon! — is making all kinds of technology, from $50 tablets to $200 connected doorbells, accessible and super fun.
  • It's nearly CrackBerry's 10th birthday. Kevin Michaluk was the catalyst for a lot of us old-timers to get into tech blogging, and I couldn't be more proud of him.
  • My Toronto FC lost to Andrew's Seattle Sounders in penalty kicks in a frigid MLS cup match last night. I have a bunch of friends who braved the cold 'til the end, and while I'm sore over the loss, I'm even more so over the ensuing chirping I am sure to receive in the days ahead.
  • Speaking of losses, the Galaxy Note 7 narrative has reached its sad, glacial end. Starting next week, all U.S. Note 7s will receive a mandatory update bricking them. No more charging, no more cellular functionality. The sad part is that there are over 130,000 units still unreturned, even after all this.
  • No podcast this week. We don't usually skip a week, but when we do it's for a good reason.

Have a great Sunday, and we'll talk again soon!

- Daniel

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

113 Comments
  • Personally I love Allo. It's great at what it does.
  • Problem is, the three people I convinced to use Allo are now gone from my contacts lol and I don't blame them. Two have iPhones the third just didn't make sense to him to have another damn messaging app.
  • Yep. I used it with maybe ten people at first, but most have just gone back to talking to me on Hangouts, because they already had that on their phones.
  • Same here. The only person I could recruit to use allo was my girlfriend and now she has me back on Facebook Messenger. Great job Google.
  • Totally agree. I never even installed it as I knew That the 3 or 4 techie friends who would actually be willing to try it would no doubt end up back on SMS and fb messenger anyway, just because of necessity.
  • Google stinks at implementing their apps, especially communication apps. Nobody is using ALLO. Its a great app. Iphone people arent going to use anything but iMessage, period. Then you have Facebook messenger which I think is horrible. Google creates these messenging apps with names like Duo, Hangouts, Allo, where no one knows what the they are which leads to people just scrolling on by them. All the other communication apps, except for WhatsApp, you know what they do by the name so people are more than likely to give them a chance. My suggestion for Google to stop thinking like friggin eggheads and think like consumers. Ditch Allo and Duo, redesign Hangouts to make it pleasing to the eye like Allo. Take the great features of Allo and Duo and add them to Hangouts. Change Hangouts name to Google Messenger. Then watch user interaction rise.
  • Think it depends on the App. Take Google Photos is simply the best photo app I have ever used by a ton. Gmail, drive, sheets, slides, docs, are all well done, IMO. So in some cases Google makes some of the best software around. BTW, the other real standout for Google is their Google Maps.
  • Um, that's the point. Use the word 'Google' followed by what it does, Photos, Maps, Mail and it gains traction.
  • Totally agree, fix what you already have and stop chasing rainbows for 12 months.
  • yeah but you have convince everyone you want to talk to to download it. my wife gets texts, pictures, and videos through her stock texting app with imessage regardless of the app used to send it. i dont know why google cant do this. no one wants to switch back and forth between messaging apps depending on who has which one and whether it will work with the senders app. who at google thought that would be a good alternative. as soon as i realized i had to ask all my friends to download allo so i could talk to them i ditched it.
  • How many of your contacts are still presently using it?
  • I couldn't care less about an iMessage competitor.
  • It might be great... I've never used it and never intend to use it, so I don't miss it. In that way, imessage is kind of like heroin...
  • I could care less about iMessage... Everyone I know has a cell phone that I can message with any SMS app.
  • Allo would be great if it supported SMS!
  • ...and had a desktop app, wasn't tied to your mobile number, allowed you to use the app on multiple devices, had video calling included, wasn't Allo and was Hangouts.
  • Pretty much. I actually really like Allo for what it is, but it doesn't exactly fill any holes that are left by Hangouts.
  • I agree
  • This is going to fail. Maybe in the us it could pick up? I don't know but over here whatsapp is the default standard pretty much everybody has besides telegram as a good second.
    Sms is death, mms is never used over here (the Netherlands) I don't see this happening just way way to late to the game. Or they have to have a killer feature, which i believe will be quite hard for such a system
  • It won't succeed in the US without sms support. Yes, the rest of the world doesn't use SMS but sms is all iphones users use in the US.
  • Hes talking about rcs which falls back to sms. Not allo
  • Also the rest of the world definitely does use SMS.
  • In Germany SMS is dying (and thats a good thing since it is so limited) Germany SMS vs WhatsApp Messages
    2014 - SMS 63 million vs 400 millon WhatsApp (per day)
    2015 - SMS 40 millonen vs 667 million WhatsApp (per day) 2013 was the first year that WhatsApp sent way more messages than SMS were delivered.
  • I just use Facebook messenger. I never text.
  • Exactly
  • Facebook is a scourge on humanity! In my opinion.
  • What an insightful comment that truly added value to a conversation about a totally different topic completely.
  • I actually quite enjoyed the comment.
  • Yeah but that's where all your friends and family are at. Just the way it is
  • Um, not really, most of my friends and family don't rely on fakebook to communicate.
  • That's very cool and very rare these days. Good stuff. I wish I could say the same.
  • Until I tried an iPhone 7 plus before returning to the S7 Edge (Post Note 7 issues), I never really understood what the fuss was about iMessage. Now I get it. It is a very nice way to communicate. Having said that, it's not a reason for choosing a phone or a platform unless all your friends and family have iPhones and you find its various features critical. I certainly don't.
  • That is exactly my situation. Everyone in my family and 90% of my friends have iPhones and trying to convince them to use anything other than iMessage is impossible. They aren't tech people and they have an app that works. It doesn't help that I have T-Mobile and their SMS service is terrible. I was so tired of people getting SMS messages from me 3 days after I sent them and T-Mobile support only offered "reboot your phone" as a solution. There are other reasons I have an iPhone but deep down I'm an android guy and I would definitely be looking at the Pixel right now if I could use iMessage on android, which is why they don't offer it. Maybe someday they will but I don't see that happening until offering it will make them money somehow.
  • Interesting, I've never had issues with my T-Mobile SMS service. I also just purchased an iPhone, mostly to learn more about it. The first thing I did was turn off iMessage. A couple hours later I turned it back on because I already had several people asking me too. It's a decent app, and works super well.
  • Apple will drop the ball with iMessage like Blackberry did BBM. They're going to wait too long to go cross platform and nobody will care. The need to release iMessage to Android like yesterday so it will be adopted and be the default messaging service worldwide.
  • This is a very salient point. I don't have confidence in Apple being any smarter than BlackBerry.
  • exact same with me, except 100% of family is iPhone and 99% of friends are iPhone. But I always have a backup android device to tinker with. I do still really like my iphone 7+ outside of just iMessage. But with iMessage, my large, spread-out-across-the-USA family share a lot of pictures and videos of our kids through iMessage and iCloud photo share... it's just hard to be on android with that. Video sharing messages drop to MMS when one person on the chain doesn't have an iPhone. and that video resolution is crap on MMS. And convincing everyone to download whatsapp or some other app is not going to happen. I just hope that RCS comes to all carriers and phone manufacturers or Apple opens up iMessage to Android.. But at the end of the day, even though I've tried and used every android flagship for the past few years, I still like iOS as my daily driver... although the Pixel is very tempting!
  • Interesting. The primary reason I'm back on the S7 Edge is that the iPhone gave me major problems on T-Mobile. I purchased it from the Apple store, not T-Mobile, and maybe that's part of the reason. My daily commute involved some time on a subway where I use the hotspot to get work done. The iPhone (7+) would routinely pick a weaker 4G signal compared to the S7 Edge picking up Band 12/700MHz LTE. L Once the subway went underground, the iPhone wouldn't get a signal at each station stop for long enough for the hotspot to work at all whereas the S7 would get a signal and transmit it to the laptop for at least 2 mins per stop. On my way back home, once I got over ground, the iPhone would latch onto a weak 4G signal and a weak GSM signal and not switch to LTE until about 20 mins later without a Reset All Network settings. The S7 immediately picked up the stronger signal. In addition, where I live is mostly Band 12 VoLTE, and the iPhone just wouldn't latch onto that, instead preferring a weak GSM signal. I spent hours with both T-Mobile and Apple tech support including Apple's tier 3 trying to resolve this with no luck. Replaced the phone with another one, same issues. Finally I took both phones with T-Mobile SIMs to work for several days to confirm, and did confirm this difference. So I returned the iPhone. I'm happy with the S7 Edge too, but I did enjoy the insane speed of the iPhone, it's stereo speakers, and of course iMessage. iOS 10 has come a long way and is a lot closer now to Android. Also, I've never had any issues with T-Mobiles text or MMS on the S7 Edge, stock messenger.
  • ..and here I thought Hangouts was the appropriate iMessage competitor. SMS, MMS, data based messaging and video calling all in one (mostly) cross platform app. Google's problem (IMHO) is lack of consistency and support. Design/build apps and platforms - throw them out to the world to see what sticks - then rip them all down in an attempt to re-invent the wheel all over again. It is almost like they have too many software developers and need to keep creating "make work" projects to keep them all employed.
  • Well said
  • Yup. Very good point.
  • Maybe it's just me and haven't taken the time to figure out Hangouts, I think it is a mess. I always thought I was texting someone but they never replied. Find out I was sending a Hangouts message.
  • Same here, tried hangouts and its a mess
  • I just found it horribly unoptimized. It's runs like garbage. That just shouldn't be the case. Granted it's been about a year since I've used it but it was just awful.
  • Yeah me and a few friends started using hangouts for a little bit but it was irritating and other than the icon not a very appealing messenger. I also really don't like video call options which was honestly a big part of me uninstalling it.
  • Exactly...put everything into Hangouts... make it perfect ....problem solved ... Hangouts is already known and decent ....just needs some things and needs to be cared for
  • Aside from Hangouts being the worst possible name, it is slow to load and confusing with how it handles your contacts. Google's messenger works very well. That's how it should've worked. Easy.
  • I hated the hangouts name but it works great. I've had a Google voice number since the beginning so I love being able to text people from every device I own. iMessage can't do that.
  • Agreed, they need to focus before dropping a product....cough cough...Google Hangouts.
  • I'm probably in the minority here but I actually enjoys Verizon's app. The typing indicator, glympse so I can send my location in real time. Idk to me it's pretty well rounded
  • I agree. Hate Verizon or not, they do have a top notch messaging app.
  • Oh now you done it, you broke one of the Android Central rules here. thou shalt not say anything nice about Verizon. But all honestly it's not a bad app
  • That's the number 1 commandment for AC. Next to "thou shalt not buy a Google Pixel from Verizon"
  • I, too, use Verizon's Message+. It works on ALL my devices (including computer).... and you don't have to be on Verizon to use it. It just works and pretty darn well for my needs.
  • We must be odd the ducks here. I find this app works nice, doesn't look half bad with all of the customization it allows and works pretty damn well. Has most of the features people say is missing with this app or that app. The bonus for me is it works great on my phone, desktop and tablet keeping them all in sync. Heck I can even make phone calls using it on my Nexus 7. I don't know of any other app that can do that. The only thing that changed I miss is the lose of spilt screen in landscape. I dont know if they removed the feature or I just can't find the setting to turn it on.
  • Vzw message+ is actually pretty good.. Ui is clunky as hell but the features are good and even the scheduled messages are good... Have to say I'm a fan
  • Scheduled messages are very nice. I can be a night owl, and there are times when I want to send someone a text but don't want to risk waking them up. I'll just schedule it for the following morning, when I know they'll already be awake.
  • When I moved from iPhone to Android for first time going to Nexus 5x five months ago my only concern was texting since I had always been told iMessage is vastly superior to the fragmented Android texting world. But for me Hangouts is as effective as iMessage. I have no concerns about ETE encryption and Hangouts has treated me well which means given all the other features and customization treats of Android I don't miss iOS.
  • You should check out Textra. It's a very pretty, customizable texting app. I find it hard to stray from.
  • Textra was first Text app I tried on my 5x and I really liked it for the customizations since I like apps that allow dark themes. But I always had issues sending video attachments. I use Project Fi but I assume that shouldn't matter. I tried reconfiguring MMS settings but I could never get Textra to send a video MMS.
  • There's no "fragmented" texting experience on Android..... sms is sms. Now speaking in terms of instant messaging. iMessage is King. Messener. hangouts , etc all fall into that category. But there's only one sms
  • Took me years to convince people to use Hangouts......now everyone is on Whatsup. I only have 1 Hangouts contact left.
  • I use Google Messenger. Can I use WhatsApp without making other people download it? Can it be used as a simple texting app, but then have extra features with other WhatsApp users? This whole SMS/MMS thing has me very confused.
  • To use WhatsApp everyone u send texts to must also download the app.
  • WhatsApp is popular outside the US. All your friends already use it, but yeah you would have to download it. In the States, SMS still reigns supreme and anyone with a phone can get a text message... even someone with a flip phone.
  • How Googles app developers meetings go...
    Smoke a bowl - rename chromecast
    5 shots of tequila - discuss play music
    Meth and a headbutting contest - discuss messaging
  • i still don't know what the problem with hangouts was/is. Does SMS and can Message the Ms. from my tablet if the phone isn't handy. Simple.
  • You can use it as sms on your phone, but when moving to your tablet /pc/chromebook /whatever it uses email unless a you use a Google voice number. For 95% of the population that is a no go as apps like Imessages and Verizon messages use a your standard cell number.
    Then there is the well known issue of it taking hours to send and receive notifications.
    Hell, even Verizon got it right.
  • So now se have like 3 Google half ass iMessage competitors?, and still here in Mexico whatsapp is the leader. even business use whatsapp to do business
  • Or you could just sms the iPhone users using stock messaging or any messaging app No special app needed Gave up on cross messaging cause no one ain't gonna do it right
  • Yeah just like Blackberry Messenger was so much better than text messaging or anything that Google and Apple had to offer in 2009. There are plenty of apps that supersede anything imessage has to offer. The truth is, the only reason imessage is so great to Apple fans is because it is for Apple fans just like BBM was for BlackBerry fans. I know plenty of Apple users who switched to Android and never have they mentioned missing imessage. To the contrary, some have actually said its exclusivity to Apple devices prohibited them from using it at all. This is just another click bait article.
  • It's too bad that blackberry took away SMS integration before going cross platform.
  • That's because your average iphone user has no clue what imessage is. It's turned on by default on all idevices they just think they are using regular text messaging. Ask them what is the difference between the blue and green bubbles and i'll bet you 90% couldn't tell you.
  • @daniel...any idea or word when RCS is coming to Canadian Carriers?!
  • allo is pretty great. my girlfriend and i use it. She has an iphone, me android.
  • All android carriers & manufacturers just need to have one standard messages app, until then new messages apps on Android will fail. Everyone I know who has an Android device just uses the messaging app that came with their phones.
  • It doesn't need to be a separate app, it just has to work with the basic text messaging app. That's why imessage is so popular, it's the default texting app on all iphones. No one wants to be bothered with using a third party app that will only work if the other user has the same app.
  • T-Mobile has supported RCS for over a year with their Advanced Messaging. I don't get why they are saying initially it will only be Sprint?? Am I missing something?
  • Think of RCS as a framework. It gives you the basics, but it doesn't fill in all the details. It's not complete without a profile. Up until this point, everyone has been using their own RCS profiles that are incompatible with each other. Google has developed an open standard universal RCS profile, and Sprint is the first one to adopt it. Once everyone adopts it, then RCS will be universal and cross carrier.
  • Okay cmon do you guys love imessage THAT much? It has its tricks and gimmicks but for somebody that just wants to text someone I think Google messenger is more appealing being able to give each person their own color. What iMessage has going more than anything is use over WiFi when you send a pic or video and it just goes right through. Other than that you guys are high.
  • ...spoken like someone who has never used iMessage.
  • Lol agreed. Sir I think you might be the one that is high ^
  • Yes, just because you thinks so doesn't mean it's so.......
  • I love iMessage. It's one of the greatest features on my iPhone 7 Plus.
  • You bring up Google forking WebKit, I guess to say that they sometimes make "proprietary" changes to "standards," but a) WebKit wasn't a "standard," it is an engine for processing standards (XML, HTML, CSS, etc..) and b) WebKit was already a fork of of open source code (KHTML) for Apple's purposes. Blink remains largely compatible with WebKit as far as the APIs are concerned and is used by several 3rd parties, like Opera and Amazon.
  • I used it for two or three weeks and none of my contacts were there.
  • Tried Allo, but a poor substitute for what Hangouts did last year. And the iPeople in my life complained...
  • I installed Allo the day it came out. I uninstalled it a few days after. It had potential, but it just turned out to be some sort of glorified demo for Google Assistant.
  • Is texting that complicated? I never cared for Allo, Hangouts, iMessage. I simply just text that person.
  • For people under thirty just texting doesn't cut it. Crappy pictures, horrid videos. No file sharing, no stickers, terrible mms, group messaging is a joke. Phone calls and video messaging are non existent.
    Messenger services are how the younger generation communicate. It's like comparing an 8 track to an Ipod.
  • 80% or more of my text style messaging is done through the SMS app built into my Galaxy S6. A small portion is through Facebook Messenger, and one or two of my contacts use Hangouts, I don't know why. I have never found much of a reason to expand beyond those. I refuse to try to evangelize for another app like Allo, Duo , or some other proprietary app. Everybody, even flip phone owners can and do use SMS. (Except my sister in law who hacks up the flip phone and refuses to even try) As someone else mentioned the names Allo and Duo do nothing to describe what the hell it is. One puts me in mind of aloe, and the other is two of somethng, but who knows what?
  • There's absolutely no excuse as to why there isn't an iMessage type service on android yet. IMessage has been out for several years and it works flawlessly. It's quite embarrassing actually in my opinion how far behind we are when it comes to messaging on android. MMS is garbage compared to iMessage. I can send a full minute long video to 10 people on iMessage and it'll send in the crystal clear resolution it was shot in with no problems.
  • Is it whatsapp? No!
    Then don't care about what features it have or don't have. Like everything related to google, it's just another useless article by a google fan blog.
  • Google messenger is so great. I don't understand why Google insists on making all these messaging apps.
  • I think it's going to be tough for Google to get back on track when it comes to messaging. Allo is ok but it's limited to what it can do. Facebook seems to have a huge edge on this, with Facebook Messenger and whatsapp. I don't have the Facebook app on my phone and I rarely go to the website but I still have Facebook Messenger and use the web app regularly because that's where the people are.
  • Is this the reason why you're not podcasting this week????
  • The problem - sad to say - is Apple and their proprietary software. iMessage is no more functional than Facebook Messenger or GroupMe or WhatsApp; its only power comes from the fact that many iPhone users are so recalcitrant towards using anything else. God forbid they'd have to use more than one messaging app. As a result, Android users - particularly those of us in the US - are stuck communicating with a 2005-era messaging service, SMS, because iMessage does not integrate with any other service.
  • I've tried Allo and it isn't bad but here in the UK, WhatsApp is king.
  • So does this mean using the default messaging/SMS app on whatever Android handset you have OR downloading and using a Specific Google app called Messenger?
  • Google takes on too many darn products and can't give a complete one. I like ALLO but without SMS integration I've not used it much; all my friends have iMessage and see no reason to download another app. Let's hope ALLO gets an update that will break the internet LOL!
  • I really wanted to like Allo and tried my best to use it but the 5 people I convinced to initially use it all left. What Google needs to do is just incorporate Allo features in Google Messenger. Add a desktop client and it would be perfect. I have an iPhone, a Pixel and a Galaxy S7. While I prefer Android I have to admit out of all the messaging apps I user iMessage is the best one. Facebook messenger is a close second. We Android users hate to admit it but it's true. Google needs to figure it out. Their users want a true iMessage competitor and Google hasn't given it to them
  • Wait! Phil is coming back to the podcast?!?!?! Awesome, even though you guys are doing a great job. Allo needs SMS support, it's the obvious next step to Android getting an iMessage, one stop shop. Sometimes, I think Google has no marketing intellect at all. What are they thinking? Nexus....oh lets change to Pixel, Chromecast, Home...blah, blah blah.
  • Oh, big surprise, Allo is failing?!!! It was destined to fail and Google refuses to listen to its own users and do whatever it wants to do. Google gets it own way time and time again and tries too hard to deliver the Android experience it want's rather than what users want. Not saying iPhone doesn't eiher, but what made Android and Google so popular seems to be exactly what Google is willing to abandon now days.
  • Google's imessage competitor isn't SMS (or RCS) either. Google has completely failed in this space. I don't know if it is complete incompetence or being done on purpose (so they can say to the people worried about antitrust issues - see, we completely suck at doing some things... how can we be accused of being monopolistic?). As many people have pointed out - it shouldn't be that hard - but instead Google appears to be purposely screwing up messaging every step of the way. We've had GTalk, Messenger, Hangouts, Allo, Duo, etc. etc. etc. Seriously, who does this? It just flies in the face of simple logic. Then you have Project Fi and Google Voice. Their propensity for coming out with applications that aren't available if you have a paid account (Google Apps, Cloud or whatever they are calling that now). You can't keep introducing products, let them gain features and market share, then ditch them for a product with less features, a different name... wait until they start to gain features and become popular and then rinse, repeat. You can't come out with products that aren't available to your paid customers. It really is just bizarre. Yes, Google makes some good things... GMail, Chrome, Maps... but on other things they are completely tone deaf. I really can't believe they are this inept... but then again, here we are.
  • P.S. If you want a good cross-platform messenger that is always improving and introducing new features - Telegram.
  • I have stayed with Hangouts. I have to be able to text with any mobile phone. Hangouts is great because it has an online version. It seems Google hasn't learned anything from Hangouts.
  • Yeah... Hangouts had been around far longer. iMessage came after. Hangouts is Androids iMessage. The only thing is that Google didn't make this the default messenger on all Android devices. Letting manufacturers create there own design of messaging. If everyone knew and used hangouts....allo wouldn't exist and people would love hangouts. Haven't tried it? Do it..
  • "iMessage came after." Huh?
  • It was predicted by everyone that Allo would be a failure. Nice to see the self-fulling prophecy self-fulfill.
  • It was a good attempt from Google but using separate apps is a mess hardly people prefer to use other apps just for messaging because whatsapp already exists for this purpose.
  • The only reason I still have Allo is for the daily weather, but all of my friends u installed it. I just use Facebook Messenger for messages and SMS. Chat heads are the best.
  • Anybody who is going to "scoff" at a green bubble in their iMessage app, I don't want to talk to them.
  • I don't think we will get our Android version of iMessage.