It seems like Allo is slowing down a bit as the updates are no longer packed with an assortment of new features on each release. Instead, we're starting to see more things that spend some time in the teardowns before going live. An examination of today's update to v19 hasn't turned up anything notable in the live app yet, but a teardown does promise a few smallish tidbits like Firefox support for the web client and a camera effect that will probably place a sweet dairy treat on your head.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Firefox support for the web client

Earlier this month, a teardown of Allo v18 included the logo of the Opera browser, signifying that Opera would likely join the list of browsers supported by Allo's web client – it's currently a short list of one: Google Chrome. Hot on its heels will be Firefox.

<string name="desktop_list_item_firefox_image_description">Firefox browser</string>

The web client is currently still locked down to just Chrome, but it seems like we're probably not too far away from seeing both Firefox and Opera supported. Perhaps an announcement is coming soon.

Ice cream on your head

It's not quite a pie in the face, but ice cream on the head is a pretty classic image from TV and movies. Judging by a new string, you'll also be able to step in front of the camera and have your head covered in melty goodness. It seems a new camera effect is in the works that will track your head and overlay an image of ice cream.

<string name="camera_icecream_head_effect_toggle">Toggle icecream-on-head effect</string>

Aside from the name of the effect and the icon shown above, there's not much else to say until this effect goes live.

Miscellaneous

The next three topics don't really need much space, so we'll just go through them a bit rapidfire.

Phantom chat?

The name "phantom chat" just started appearing in the strings with this update. The only text available is super vague, and there's not much point to picking it apart for details, so there's not enough to guess about what it is yet. All the same, it's there and we'll probably call back to it again in the future.

<string name="phantom_chat_draft_message">Hello %s</string>
<string name="phantom_chat_snippet_text">To start chatting, tap anytime</string>

Web stickers

Web stickers were already covered in the teardown of Allo v17, and the strings below don't really add all that much to the discussion. However, the addition of promo text – e.g. anything that begins with "New!" – is usually a sign that something will be going live soon. If you're a heavy sticker user, get ready to see your collection explode.

<string name="ink_sticker_search_tooltip_title">New! Search stickers</string>
<string name="ink_web_sticker_inserted">Web sticker is added to the canvas.</string>

Miscellaneous notification channel

As the name suggests, there's going to be a notification channel named Miscellaneous. For unknown reasons, it doesn't seem to be live yet, at least not unless a special condition is required for it to show up. Anyway, it's just a generic notification channel, I'm only mentioning it because it was there to be mentioned and we're now down to the little stuff.

<string name="fcm_fallback_notification_channel_label">Miscellaneous</string>

Anyway, that's it for this one. Happy chatting!

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Version: 19.0.025_RC09

Google Allo
Google Allo
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free