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allo

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Allo, is anybody out there? A brief history of Google's ill-fated messenger

Two days ago it was revealed that development for Allo was temporarily suspended while Google redoubles its efforts at spreading the gospel of RCS under the more marketable name "Chat." Even so, the company has reassured consumers that it is still committed to supporting Allo. But the news makes it hard not to visualize Allo being sent to the same "still supported" farm where other Google services like Hangouts reside.

While Allo's fate hangs in limbo, let's take a look back at the service since its announcement, and speculate a bit on how it got there. 

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'Chat' will be Google's new name for RCS, Allo development paused in favor of Android Messages

It's a meme at this point: Every two years, Google announces yet another new messaging platform that will finally give Android its iMessage competitor. Those of you hoping Allo might break this cycle will be disappointed today, as The Verge has revealed that Google is pausing development for Allo and switching focus to the existing Android Messages app, paired with an investment in branding RCS messaging into something called "Chat."

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Allo web app will eventually work without phone connection

Allo is perhaps one of Google's most controversial products at the moment. It abandoned most of what made Hangouts great, in favor of connecting users by phone numbers rather than email addresses. The app has been slowly regaining some of Hangouts' functionality since release, including a web client. There's just one problem - the web app requires your phone to be turned on with a network connection.

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Android Messages v2.9 prepares to launch Allo-like web interface, Google-enhanced chat features, and payments to businesses [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Android Messages rolling out to our phones. So far, we haven't seen any significant changes to the UI, but huge things are happening under the surface. A teardown reveals Google is getting ready to launch a web interface that would allow users to pair their phones with a computer for all of their texting needs. Google may also be planning to offer its own enhanced chat features to work with RCS messaging. And finally, it looks like we'll be able to buy things from companies right from within Android Messages. Grab the APK at the bottom of the post if you'd like to get your hands on it before everybody else.

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[Update: Back up] Allo is down, but you probably didn't notice because you're part of the 99.99999%

Allo's small userbase has become somewhat of a joke in the Android community, but the fact of the matter is that there are actually people who use Google's latest messaging service. Crazy, right? If you do use Allo, you might have noticed that your messages have been stuck on "Sending..." with none of them actually being sent. Don't worry; you're not alone. Allo seems to be down for everyone right now.

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Google's Head of Product for Allo and Duo moves to Facebook

Amit Fulay served as a Product Manager at Google since 2010, most recently as Head of Product for Real-Time Communications. In other words, he was the head of Allo, Duo, WebRTC, and other projects within the company. Fulay announced on Twitter today that he has left Google, and now works at Facebook.

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Google is investigating Pixel 2 XL voice messaging bug affecting WhatsApp, Allo, and Telegram

The Pixel 2 XL has suffered from several issues since its launch, both hardware and software-related, just like pretty much any other consumer product of its kind. The latest bug to come to light is a curious one that affects the sound output level of a voice clip sent via a messaging app. According to a number of users on this Pixel User Community thread, this issue is limiting the volume level when recording voice messages on the Pixel 2 XL.

When you send a voice clip recorded on a phone suffering from the bug, the recipient gets a message with very low volume, even when their phone is turned up all the way.

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Allo v25 enables automatic transcriptions for audio messages, may hint at threaded conversations [APK Teardown]

A new version of Allo is rolling out just in time for the holidays. If you're thinking about singing Christmas carols or wishing somebody a happy new year, things are going to get a little more interesting thanks to the latest update. Your audio messages will now be automatically transcribed to text, so people can decide when to listen and have some idea of what they're going to be hearing. There's also a clue that may suggest threaded conversations will be supported. We're still poking around for other changes, but let us know in the comments if you stumble across anything else.

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Google Allo v24 prepares to start chats with Gmail addresses, continues work on camera effects and other UI enhancements [APK Teardown]

A new version of Allo is making the rounds, and again with an evening release on a Friday. So far, no new features have been uncovered in this update, but we're still poking around for something to reveal itself. In the meantime, there's plenty of material to examine under the microscope of a teardown. We can see that contacting people through their Google account may be coming soon. Allo's upcoming camera effects are evolving as two old ones may have been removed, a new one turns up, and they're all getting new icons. And that's not all.

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