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Google Allo drops off the top 500 apps chart on the Play Store

Take a look at the Play Store's top free apps chart today, January 31st, and you'll notice that Google Allo does not appear on said chart in the top 500 listings (technically, top 540 - I'm not sure when they grew the list, but yeah). It seems that Allo, based on App Annie's historical data, has actually fallen out of the top 500 several times in recent weeks, but this is the first incidence we've noticed.

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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 Allo hit 5 million downloads in 5 days - two months later, its momentum seems utterly stalled

On September 28th, almost two months ago to the day, Allo co-lead Justin Uberti announced the app had achieved a staggering five-million downloads in just five days since its launch. It was impressive, though not exactly unexpected for a major Google app debut. Now, once at the top of the Play Store's app rankings, Allo sits below position #200, and shows few signs of momentum.

The app's download count remains at the 5,000,000-10,000,000 milestone it achieved back at the end of September, meaning that in over sixty days Allo has not managed to achieve again what it did in the first five it was available.

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Google and Buzzfeed partner up to add a sticker pack to Allo, just in time for Thanksgiving

Scrolling through Buzzfeed articles is possibly the most mindless thing to do on the web - apart from aimlessly browsing Wikipedia - so it makes sense companies want to capitalize on the site's reputation. Google has done just that, adding a number of Buzzfeed stickers into Allo, just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Allo's rank on the Play Store is in freefall

After hitting 5 million downloads and #8 in the Top Charts just under a week ago, Allo is now falling fast. As of writing this, it is in 86th, but was 75th a few hours ago and, according to this tweet, 62nd earlier yesterday. This probably shows that after millions downloading it during the initial release and hype period, that has now passed and the number of downloads has fallen dramatically.

As you can probably infer, this is most likely not good for Allo's adoption rates. Looking at my personal contacts list, I have 9 contacts who have set up an account, out of 100+ phone numbers I have on my phone.

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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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Google Assistant can answer your voice messages in Allo

We've covered a lot of what Google Allo can do as a messaging application, but we haven't yet scratched the surface of one of its most interesting features: Assistant. It lives as a standalone chat, but also as a bot ready to answer any question inside your other conversations (not the Incognito ones though, as we've said before) by just mentioning @google.

Since Assistant is an evolution of Google Now / OK Google commands, and since Allo can send voice messages, there's a nifty feature you can easily deduce from the combination of the two: Assistant will interpret your voice messages in Allo. It's as cool as you might guess.

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Google Assistant feature spotlight: What a nice poo

Google Assistant seems... fun. Taken from a prerelease version of Allo. (And yes, this is what will happen if you send Google Assistant a poo emoji in Allo.)

Official comment from Senior VP of Android, Chrome, and Google Play Hiroshi Lockheimer.

Huge if true.

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Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version)

I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.

In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history. Whether you uninstall the app and reinstall it on the same phone, perform a device restore and have to install it again, move your SIM card to a new phone and need to authenticate Allo there, almost nothing sticks or carries around.

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Google Allo's incognito chats have Snapchat-like expiring messages, private notifications, and encryption keys

The nice graphic you see above is the background of all your incognito conversations on Google Allo. It's one of the visual cues the app uses to let you differentiate between a regular chat and an incognito one. But what are these more secure chats and how exactly do they work?

Based on information we've obtained from a test preview version of Allo, here is what you should expect.

First, these chats are end-to-end encrypted (we've known they'll be using the Signal protocol for a while) with unique identity keys for each participant. One of the side effects of encryption is that Google Assistant doesn't work in them.

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