It's been heavily rumored that Google will be launching their newest messaging service this week, Allo. It was announced at Google I/O back in May, and many rumors and reports have pointed to it launching tomorrow, September 21st. Marketing material has been passed out, for Allo, and now Google's RCS team is sending out emails to those that expressed interest in RCS. While this email doesn't mention Allo specifically, it does show that they are preparing to launch it.
For those that may be unaware, Allo does support RCS. Which stands for Rich Communication Services. It's an open standard that Google has been working with the GSMA and carriers around the world to adopt the new standard. RCS was actually announced at Mobile World Congress back in February, and according to Google's email, there has been "a lot of excitement" around the RCS initiative. There are already 57 carriers and device OEMs that support RCS. So it's coming along, but still not supported by every carrier and manufacturer out there just yet. Google also notes that they are "working closely with the industry to deliver a great consumer experience and scale RCS."
Allo does use RCS, and is expected to launch this week. Although for many users out there, they won't know what RCS is, and they likely won't care what it is. What this shows us is that we are getting closer to the launch of Allo, which many have been waiting for since the messaging app was announced at Google I/O earlier this year – alongside Duo which is already available. Perhaps the biggest feature of Allo is the Google Assistant. While Google didn't come right out and say that they were adding bots into Allo, they did announce Google Assistant, which is basically all of the Facebook Messenger bots rolled into one. And it's a pretty big part of Google Home – also announced at Google I/O, but expected to be released, or at least given pricing and availability at their event on October 4th. Allo will join a number of other messaging services that Google already has, like Hangouts.