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Google Allo leaks reveal incognito chats, messaging search, and weird stickers

Derek Walter | Aug. 23, 2016
With Allo's video chat sibling Duo already in the wild, we're expecting to see Google's rethink of messaging launch very soon.

google allo

It can’t be long before Google’s forthcoming messaging app, Allo, hits the Play Store. Not only has there been a deluge of leaks from Android Police, which has been dishing out details of an internal preview build, but video chat app Duo launched last Tuesday.

That makes us feel like Tuesday, August 23rd may be a good day to release Allo into the wild. Here’s a roundup of everything we know so far about Google’s next bold leap into messaging.

The story behind the story: Google showed off Allo at its I/O conference in May, promising that the Google Assistant and a ton of new features would make it the must-have messaging app. Like Duo it will work on both Android and iOS, which may help ease the ease your green bubble problem with those iPhone-toting friends.

Search away

One peculiarity of Hangouts is that you can’t search through your conversations in the app (instead you have to do it through Gmail on the desktop). Allo fixes this annoyance with search that not only will find your conversations, but also locate the Google Assistant’s answers.

search allo

Search will play a major role in Allo.

This should be a significantly more powerful way to locate that address you need or restaurant you chatted about last week.

To sync or not to sync

One peculiarity that the Android Police team found was that Allo may not backup your chat history. Previous chats disappeared when reinstalling the app on the same or a new phone.

allo reinstall 

When reinstalling Allo some of the conversations didn’t appear, even on the same phone.

The current build seems to forget one-on-one chats, group chat, Google Assistant conversations, and media files. Perhaps this is something specific to the test build, but it’ll be worth noting if Allo is designed to be intentionally forgetful in this manner in order to ramp up security.

Disappearing messages

Allo is bringing in a couple of drops of Snapchat into the app. It appears you’ll be able to set specific expirations for messages so they can disappear five seconds, a minute, an hour, or even a week while using an Incognito mode.

allo private mode

Keep your chats private with the Incognito mode.

You also can’t screenshot these chats and they’re end-to-end encrypted. Messaging is a major focus of privacy concerns, so this could make Allo more appealing to those who don’t want their conversations to end up anywhere else. 

Some weird stickers

Stickers are all the rage in messaging apps, and Allo tries to join in with the fun. There’s a sticker pack, though some of the choices are...interesting.


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