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Allo and Duo: smarter messaging and 1:1 video calling - no Google account required

Both apps message based on your phone number, allowing you to reach anyone in your phonebook.

Allo features Google's smart assistant and end-to-end encryption.

Allo is a smart messaging app that makes your conversations easier and more expressive. It’s based on your phone number, so you can get in touch with anyone in your phonebook. And with deeply integrated machine learning, Allo has smart features to keep your conversations flowing and help you get things done.

Chats in Incognito mode will have end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications, and we’ll continue to add new features to this mode.

Duo is simple 1:1 video calling with seamless switching between Wi-Fi and cellular connections and end-to-end encryption.

One of our favorite features of Duo is Knock Knock, which shows you a live video preview of the caller before you pick up.

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Craig Long's profile photoOndřej Pokorný's profile photoOswaldo Salcedo's profile photoPeggy K's profile photo
Are you sure about the no Google account required? :)
Peggy K
+Ondřej Pokorný yes. You just need a confirmed phone number. So these apps are mobile only.
+Peggy K​ That would be a 15year step back. I can't imagine Google doing such stupid thing. Excluding roaming users, tablets, computers, wearables, whatever comes next...
+Peggy K Well hopefully not for Google's sake. FB Messenger and Whatsapp both have a web interface for desktop, Telegram supports web in addition to basically all desktop platforms. I really don't understand Google anymore. It's almost as if they are trying to sabotage their product lines - they have flip-flopped on so many things, people don't trust them anymore - and when you have lost your customer trust, you have also lost confidence and loyalty.
Peggy K
+Ondřej Pokorný +Gerald Cox  it's not launched yet, so we'll find out what final options are later. But the apps do appear to be mobile only. If you want to chat on desktop use Google Hangouts (which isn't going away). I'm thinking of the apps as closer to replacements for SMS and phone calls than replacement for chat apps like WhatsApp or FB Messenger.
+Peggy K Well, I think that is a big mistake. No one wants to have one app for Desktop and another for their phone - even FB Messenger and Whatsapp recognized this. I didn't see anything about Allo having the ability to make phone calls, it looks like a messaging app... and as far as a pure SMS replacement that is what Google Messenger was suppose to be. Google needs to concentrate on improving their existing applications rather than doing a relaunch everytime they want to add an enhancement. No one wants to play musical chairs with their messaging apps... taking the time and effort to learn it and then convincing their friends to sign up for it also. As it stands right now it's confusing enough with Hangouts and Google Messenger, now they are adding Allo and Duo... so we now have four to learn and use. Sorry, IMO that is just ridiculous. They need to develop a strategy and stick to it rather than playing the app flavor of the month.
Peggy K
+Gerald Cox it will be interesting to see what Allo looks like when it's launched to the public. Maybe there is a strategy we can't see?
+Peggy K​​​​ It rather seems they have only a vague long term vision (AI, VR etc.), as other tech giants. So, much more likely it's just "if we don't disrupt our own products, somebody else will... let's throw couple more apps on the wall and see which will stick" mindset. :/ People are trying to make some sense to it when there really isn't much.
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