Google Allo Review: Do We Really Need It?
It's been about a month since Allo was released on September 21, as rumoured. On the release day, we did give you an outlook of all the features which Allo has to offer and why Allo, still being incomplete, is a weird champion in it's own genre in terms of features. That being said, the question we are raising in here is do we really need Allo.
The undisputed popularity of WhatsApp in emerging markets
As the above graph from Statista shows, the number of active users on WhatsApp is on a constant rise, with the number having touched the ten digit mark of 1 billion in February this year.
The key to WhatsApp's success in emerging markets is due to the fact that it can work very well on slow data connections such as 2G. Both Allo and WhatsApp use lossy compression to scale down the size of images and server side compression algorithms to decrease video sizes. This makes both of these messaging apps compatible with slow speed connections.
However it is almost impossible for Allo to compete with WhatsApp's large user base and popularity. Google needs to give people a reason to shift from WhatsApp to Allo. Allo doesn't have a compelling feature for the same. Lack of a desktop client for Allo doesn't help Allo's cause either.
Preexistence of messaging apps from Google
Prior to Allo, Google already had two messaging apps in the Play Store, Messenger & Hangouts. The Messenger we mentioned in the last sentence does not refer to Facebook's Messenger application in any way, Google does gave a SMS application named Messenger as well. Hangouts is a popular web based chat application as well. It has both a desktop client (the column you might have seen on the left side when viewing Gmail on a desktop) as well as a mobile application. Moreover, you can use Google Hangouts as an SMS & MMS application as well, with the only constraint being that it's offline messaging services work only with a single sim. For a dual sim user, there is Messenger.
With the preexistence of Hangouts and Messenger, why did Google introduce another messaging application from it's end? For an average user, the presence of multiple messaging apps from Google just adds on to the confusion as to which messaging application they should use for what purpose.
Although Allo does bring certain new features to the already crowded table of messaging apps, these features could have been introduced as a major update to Hangouts.
Unless Google sees a possible replacement of Messenger and Hangouts with a single cross platform application in Allo in the long run, Allo might be biting the dust soon.
Google Allo Review: Do We Really Need It? Reviewed by Krittin Kalra on 10/27/2016 02:07:00 am
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