Google Allo was released earlier this week, which is Google's latest instant message and chat application, and today the entry in the Google Play Store has been updated to show that the application has been downloaded more than a million times. The exact number of downloads is unclear as the entry is showing between one to five million downloads and download numbers in the Play Store are never exact to begin with as they're within a range of user numbers. The 1 million downloads for Allo is not quite as high as Google's new video chat application, Google Duo, which reached 5 million downloads inside ten days.
Google Allo includes an early preview version of Google Assistant, a new smart way to interact with Google and in some respects behaving like Google Now on steroids. Customers can ask Google a number of questions and the Google Assistant can provide the answers, as well as setting up the application to provide us with regular reminders or information such as weather updates. Google Allo is also benefiting from the "Google factor," that is, the level of hype attached to a new application from one of the world's largest technology companies, but Google now has three text messaging applications in existence: Google Hangouts, using a Gmail address but can also include the smartphone number for text messaging support, provides an instant messenger, video and voice calling service, plus it allows customers to message on a number of devices such as a smartphone, tablet, Chromebook and desktop browser. Google Messenger is the stock text message application, which uses the SIM number and only works on smartphones. And now the new Google Allo application uses a combination of mobile number and Google account. Google Allo has a limited ability to work with SMS messages but Google have encouraged customers to use the stock Google Messenger application rather than Hangouts for texting.
Many people will be looking forward to experimenting with the Google Assistant technology embedded into the application. It's too soon to see how Google will improve Allo going forwards and what new features it could adopt, or how usage levels will settle down as people try using the application. It seems likely that Google Hangouts will be used for the business side of Google's messaging and Allo will be biased towards the consumer side of things. Meanwhile, Google Allo is the most downloaded free application available in the Google Play Store.