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messaging

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YouTube's new sharing feature is live in Canada, remains invite-only everywhere else

A built-in sharing feature for YouTube has been in various forms of testing for months, but it is now live for all Canadian YouTube users. You read that correctly - Canada actually received a feature first.

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Telegram update adds deleting recently sent messages, network data usage, and Gboard integration

A new year means a new Telegram update. Version 3.16 adds in deleting recently sent messaging for everyone, network usage information, t.me short links, and a host of small, but significant, improvements to the Android app.

The big addition is the ability to delete recently sent messages, stopping everyone from seeing them. Telegram's blog entry on v3.16 says this is available up to 48 hours after the message has been sent, so any drunk tweets can be got rid of once you've sobered up a bit. It's not clear, however, if this still works if the recipient(s) has seen the messages.

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Google Allo just surpassed 10 Million downloads on the Play Store

The response to Google Allo has been... cold, to put it gently. For every user who appreciates the clean break Google made with its past messaging apps and the mobile-first approach it took, there are dozens if not hundreds of users who are vocal about every single feature that Allo is missing and that needs to be implemented before the app is viable as a messenger for them.

That cold response is behind Allo's sudden extinction from the Play Store's top lists and the super slow rise of its download numbers. A couple of weeks ago, David pointed out that while the app reached 5M downloads in 5 days, it still sat between 5M and 10M two whole months later, signaling a really slow uptake on the app after the initial rush was over.

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Google is advertising Allo on its homepage

Google seems to be on a new trend lately. The search giant has taken to advertising its products on its homepage, starting with Duo last month and then the Pixel phones earlier this week. Now, a small text banner has appeared to bring attention to Allo, the newest messaging service.

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Flychat adds chat head-like bubbles to Hangouts, Telegram, WhatsApp, and more

Google's improved quick reply notifications in Android 7.0 can make replying to messages easier, but it's still tedious to manage multiple simultaneous chats. That's doubly true of they're taking place in different apps. Flychat aims to make it easier by bundling all (or at least most) of your messaging apps into floating bubbles. They're chat heads, basically.

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Google Allo hits 5 million downloads in the Play Store, is #8 in Top Charts

Google Allo, the second of Google's two new messaging apps, has just hit five million downloads in the Google Play Store. All the anticipation for Allo (let's forget about the subsequent letdown for now) has made its download numbers soar. However, the aforementioned letdown is quite apparent in its current ranking in the Play Store; while Allo sat at #1 in Top Charts just five days ago, it's since fallen to #8.

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Allo vs. Hangouts: Should you make the move?

Google has dug itself a deep hole with Hangouts by integrating multiple messaging protocols and a myriad of little-used features. It's become a lumbering beast that often lags behind other Google apps in adopting new features as Android itself evolves. Enter, Allo—Google's new consumer-facing messaging client. It's faster, simpler, and it has Google Assistant built-in. So, how do these apps stack up? Let's find out.

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Editorial: Google Allo looks a lot like WhatsApp, not Hangouts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing

... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.

Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image. On the one hand, this gives Allo the opportunity to start fresh without any unnecessary remnants that other apps and services carry because of their older origins and the room to learn from what has and hasn't worked for them, but on the other hand, it also puts Allo at the very bottom of a very steep hill.

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Hangouts 11 does away with merged conversations

We've been expecting some changes to SMS functionality in Hangouts for some time, especially after Google started pushing Messenger as an SMS alternative inside Hangouts. As of Hangouts v11, it looks like the other shoe has dropped. This version of the app removes merged conversations as an option.

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