Each and every year Google take to the stages of their Mountain View campus to announce new and upcoming products during their annual Google I/O developer conference. This year was no different, and while we got a look at the future of Google itself, with a first look at the Assistant, the Internet giant also introduced the new Allo and Duo messaging apps. Both designed for very different, yet similarly messaging goals, the two apps won’t be launching until later this year, but the question of where they sit in amongst Hangouts still lingers. Now, according to Redditors that claim to be Google apps testers, both Allo and Duo could become default Android apps, with Allo possibly being a codename for “Messaging”.
This latest rumor comes from Reddit user, Therdav3, who has since deleted the post that says both Allo and Duo will be default in apps in Android 7.0 Nougat and future versions thereafter. While Therdav3’s post seems to have been deleted, another Redditor by the name of LTNGNX, has been offering lots of information on the upcoming apps, specifically Allo. LTNGNX claims to be a Google tester, and tries to verify this by saying the lack of any screenshots is how Google actually end up catching the leaksters, and that any release dates given to them could very well be red herrings, again designed to catch leaksters red-handed. According to LTNGNX Allo supports SMS messaging from the ground up, unlike Hangouts, which they claim was added as an afterthought, rather than an initial design choice. Bringing SMS messaging into the fold, a messaging protocol that refuses to go the way of the Dodo does make it appear as though Allo is gearing up to become the default messaging app of Android from Nougat onwards.
On certain builds of Android, when leaked APKs of Allo are installed, the app installs itself as “Messaging”, and this has sparked rumors of “Allo” being simply a codename. This is highly unlikely though, as not even Google would announce something, give it a Play Store listing as one thing, and then call it something else when it finally launches. For those interested, the Google Play URL for Allo – available now to pre-register – contains what appears to be another codename; “fireball”. Hangouts is still the Elephant in the room in such a conversation and LTNGNX says that it will be around for a long time to come, as there are businesses that have standardized around the service, but where Hangouts slowly fades away, Allo will “be the one for the masses”. Considering the popularity of Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, it’s clear that Google has to do something to get back on top in the messaging game, and making an app like Allo the default choice for Android would certainly go a long way to achieving such a goal.