Google confirms 2019 shutdown of Allo, focus on Messages and Duo

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In a company blog post, Google vice president of consumer communications products Matt Klainer writes about what's next. Google says Duo is its "highest rated mobile apps and is seeing strong growth and engagement across both Android and iOS". Numerous new features using machine learning have been added to Google's Messages app.

The last time Allo was updated on Android is January and the app has already shown signs of aging with bugs and Google Drive restore is borked. The company is well known for introducing (and killing) new messaging services every few years so we're not surprised to see the death of Allo, but we hope that Google can finally nail a single messaging app. The post also announced that Allo, which had its development "paused " earlier this year in favor of Messages, would be shut down in March 2019.

The writing has been on the wall for the text service, which only launched just over two years ago, after resources were withdrawn in April to allow developers to focus on the SMS-heavy Messages app which also supports RCS instant messaging, though most carriers still don't. The life of Allo, which was launched in 2016 to take on WhatsApp, will end in March 2019. Hangouts will be getting the business feature Hagouts Chat and Hangouts Meet at some point. Google introduced features such as Smart Replies or desktop support, of Allo in Messages, and plans to bring the "best of" Allo to Messages.

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As for Hangouts, the venerable chat app that launched with Google+, the company basically confirmed it would go away at some point last week, with users being "upgraded" to the Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet services now available for businesses. Before it's fully offered up to Hangouts users, it'll first open up an opportunity for G Suite users to invite people outside of their organizations.

Promoting Duo and Messages.

Today's announcement does a certain amount to change all that, but still leaves Messaging, Duo and Hangouts doing more or less the same job in a different way.

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