At this year's Google I/O, Google announced two new communication apps – Duo is a video messaging client that works with the user's phone number, and Allo is a smart messaging app with some useful and unique features built in, such as Google Assistant. Allo launched just over a week ago, quite a while after its video-based counterpart, and on the surface, it appears the app is off to a good start. Even before its public release, the app had a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, and after a week of availability, Allo had already reached 5 million downloads. But that may not tell the whole story.
While the number of downloads to date is impressive, Duo also initially saw a massive download rate, followed by a decline in usage shortly after. Google has a solid history of offering well-designed, feature-packed apps and services, so it's probably reasonable to assume that many users would be excited about these two new apps, but perhaps after using them for a while, have lost some of their initial interest. Many users have expressed disappointment over the lack of features, many of which are common in other messaging apps, such as a desktop component, cross-device synchronization, and SMS capability. Fortunately, it appears that Google is listening. Justin Uberti, co-lead of the Allo development team, addressed fans via Twitter to let them know that the team hears their requests loud and clear, listing the top seven feature suggestions. The suggestions, in alphabetical order, are Assistant features, Desktop app, Duo integration, File sharing, Quick Reply, SMS and Themes. He ends his post with a cryptic "That's all I can say."
Although Uberti's tweet does not necessarily mean that Google plans to implement all of the aforementioned features in future releases, it does at least acknowledge that he and the Allo development team are aware of what users want, so it is likely that at least a few of these features will, in fact, make their way to the app at some point. In the meantime, at least users can entertain themselves with the built-in assistant, which is actually a lot of fun to play around with. If you haven't installed Allo yet and would like to give it a try, head on over to the Google Play Store via the link below.