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Google Android Communications Technology

Google Allo For Chrome Finally Arrives, But Only For Android Users (engadget.com) 88

Google Allo, the chat app that arrived on the iPhone and Android devices last year, now has a web counterpart. Head of product for Allo and video chat app Duo, Amit Fulay, tweeted: "Allow for web is here! Try it on Chrome today. Get the latest Allo build on Android before giving it a spin." Engadget reports: To give it a go, you'll need to open the Allo app on your device and use that to scan a QR code you can generate at this link. Once you've scanned the code, Allo pulls up your chat history and mirrors all the conversations you have on your phone. Most of Allo's key features, including smart replies, emoji, stickers and most importantly the Google Assistant are all intact here. In fact, this is the first time you can really get the full Google Assistant experience through the web; it's been limited to phones and Google Home thus far.
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Google Allo For Chrome Finally Arrives, But Only For Android Users

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  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:00AM (#55023409)

    Listen very carefully, for I shall say this only once.

  • ALLO! http://ftpguide.com/ALLO.htm [ftpguide.com]

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:38AM (#55023497)

    Sounds complicated. I'll stick with Hangouts. Multi-device, web and app available, group chats and single chats, audio and video..... Google should buy that if they want a good messenger.

    oh.. wait a sec..

  • by paulatz ( 744216 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:41AM (#55023511)
    There is a huge demand for this new chat app, this is going to be a big hit! All the people who use google+ will also want to use Allo
    • I use google+ and not even I want to use Allo.

      Google is making a stupid decision after another lately, and their decisions over messaging applications are a poster child of this, they had a really nice thing with gtalk, decided for whatever reason create another one, hangouts, and force everyone over to that instead of improving gtalk, people didn't like that, then they did it again, but this time they've already had lost a huge base, most people were either on facebook messenger, whatsapp (which is now al

  • Thank goodness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @02:45AM (#55023541)
    Remember when Google used to support XMPP (Jabber) protocol so chat was federated and people could use what software they liked?

    These days, every chat provider is just a vertical, proprietary walled off service. First they snare you with the kewl features, then they scrape your contacts. Then they start grabbing your GPS location. Then they start pushing ads and services at you "relevant to your conversations and location". Then they start integrating features of product B until the chat software is a bloated mess. Then they calve off product B into its own app but make it mandatory you install it as part of a suite. Then a new chat app comes along which claims to do away with the bloat, rinse and repeat.

    Just implement a secure, federated, open protocol and stop this nonsense. At that point chat can be part of the phone software stack. Apps can compete on their front ends and other functions they offer.

    • I think it would be better to have a single standard for IM identity and bridging, so people could jump messaging apps without losing their contacts. A single federated IM protocol strictly speaking isn't needed for this.
    • Remember when Google used to support XMPP (Jabber) protocol so chat was federated and people could use what software they liked?

      I'm using my Hangup^H^Houts account with Pidgin (XMPP) right now. So yes, I do remember it rather well.

  • by mrbester ( 200927 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @03:04AM (#55023571) Homepage

    So, in order to use this on my device, I have to go into an already installed app (so why do I need this?). Then in that app I have to use the camera to scan a QR code generated by a link, meaning it has to be on the screen of a *different* device. One that I can't use the end result on anyway.

    So I need two devices to run code in the app so I don't have to use the app. TFA in this case means Totally Fucking Awful. Who signed off on this shitty process?

    • It's for people who already use this app on a phone and want to additionally use a desktop or laptop computer with its larger screen and physical keyboard. In other words, it's a counterpart to WhatsApp web access.

    • Also, what do you do if you are on a desktop that doesn't have a camera (yes, they exist) or a laptop without a camera (they also exist).

      Seems like a lot of work to use what is essentially Hangouts, which was essentially Gchat. Which was essentially many other IM products that came before it.

      Maybe they could launch yet another chat service which doesn't work with the previous ones, and let the previous ones all die a death of neglect - because they've never done that before...

  • if it supported the standard SIP in addition to its other features then I personally would use it and I think it would get traction.

    SIP support (voice and video calling) would mean I could use it for the work extension and home without multiple clients.

    without SIP or some compelling feature its a also ran experiment that some will care about...

    • Your Android phone already supports SIP. You can add as many SIP accounts as you want. It's in phone under calls, calling accounts, sip accounts.

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @03:24AM (#55023605)

    ...need to open the Allo app on your device and use that to scan a QR code you can generate at this link. Once you've scanned the code, Allo pulls up your chat history and mirrors all the conversations you have on your phone....

    and iMessage, both of which already have a gazillion users already. Not counting FB messenger...
    How Google continues to screw up this lucrative sector amazes me, with Android and Chrome as a base they should be cleaning up, especially since M$ as essentially killed-off Skype by making it unusable (except for business users).

  • Would someone explain exactly why I would want or need this? I just don't see the need and I certainly don't want another google app taking up space I could use for something really useful.
  • Where are the sources and best also already a port as a native Linux client?
  • by Geeky ( 90998 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @04:58AM (#55023751)

    This XKCD [xkcd.com] needs updating... or does Allo have so few users it doesn't even register on the radar?

    • That XKCD doesn't even include Wire messenger, which has many more reasons for its existance than 'Allo'.
  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2017 @06:30AM (#55023957) Homepage

    I just wrote a comment grousing about yet-another-walled-off-chat-app. But then I did a brief search, and...

    Surprise: Allo apparently uses the Signal protocol [whispersystems.org], which is an open standard. More, it's a standard that included end-to-end encryption. Unless Google deliberately and specifically broke compatibility, it should be possible for an Allo user to communicate with a Signal user, or anyone else with an app that supports the Signal protocol.

    At the moment, I stick to SMS because that lets me send a message to someone without caring about what app they happen to have installed. Everyone can receive an SMS. Kind of pathetic, but there we are. But I use Signal to send those SMS messages, so if someone has a Signal-compatible app, it should automatically upgrade the communications channel.

    Here's hoping: If this is the beginning of a movement back to open protocols, the world will be a better place...

    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      > nless Google deliberately and specifically broke compatibility, it should be possible for an Allo user to communicate with a Signal user, or anyone else with an app that supports the Signal protocol.

      Certainly not, unless Google got an agreement with Open Whisper Systems that they can federate with their servers, and giving OWS's history (they have already bad experiences with Cyanogen in the past on that) I doubt they'll do that.

    • At the moment, I stick to SMS because that lets me send a message to someone without caring about what app they happen to have installed. Everyone can receive an SMS.

      Wrong, since you need a cellular radio (or some other SMS gateways) and a phone number to receive SMS. You can't receive an SMS on a regular PC.

      • I think bradley13's point is that almost everybody with a valid reason to communicate with bradley13 already carries a device with a cellular radio on a plan with at least several hundred monthly sent and received messages, and those few who do not (such as damn_registrars [slashdot.org] and irrational-design [slashdot.org]) can easily acquire one.

        But I wonder how many people in bradley13's circle of friends have North American pay-as-you-go plans. Carriers in the U.S. and Canada bill both the sending account and the receiving account f

        • The point is not whether someone carries a phone or not.
          Why would I type on a small phone when I sit in front of a big display and keyboard? An Internet-connected PC which is much more convenient to reply? Sending SMS and forcing people to reply from a phone is rude.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Why would I type on a small phone when I sit in front of a big display and keyboard?

            In order to send messages between those times when you "sit in front of a big display and keyboard". Or do you have a laptop on your person everywhere you go?

            Sending SMS and forcing people to reply from a phone is rude.

            Is it also rude for someone to have an IM waiting for him but not read it nor reply to it because he subscribes to SMS but not cellular data and is away from home, work, or a public hotspot?

            • Why would I type on a small phone when I sit in front of a big display and keyboard?

              In order to send messages between those times when you "sit in front of a big display and keyboard". Or do you have a laptop on your person everywhere you go?

              Since when do you need a laptop to read messages received over the Internet, such as emails and instant messages? A smartphone can do it just fine.

              Sending SMS and forcing people to reply from a phone is rude.

              Is it also rude for someone to have an IM waiting for him but not read it nor reply to it because he subscribes to SMS but not cellular data and is away from home, work, or a public hotspot?

              No, it isn't. Just like it isn't rude to send an email to such a person.
              Also that person can use an email to SMS gateway if he/she wants to read messages on the go.

              • by tepples ( 727027 )

                Why would I type on a small phone when I sit in front of a big display and keyboard?
                [...]
                Since when do you need a laptop to read messages received over the Internet, such as emails and instant messages? A smartphone can do it just fine.

                Because it's inconvenient to reply to "messages received over the Internet" "on a small phone".

                • What is so hard to understand? If I am close to my PC, I want to reply from my PC. If I am not, I may want to be able to reply from my phone as a backup.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      It sucks that none of the contacts have SIgnal to encrypt our SMSes. I wish SMSes had encryption already. :(

  • Google after all this time, finally figured out how to integrate and setup a working WebRTC system. I understand their pain, for something that could have been so much simpler. Ohh wait, they where involved in making WebRTC? I retract, no sympathy from me.
  • In fact, it even blocks non-Chrome Chromium browsers such as Opera etc!

  • Yeah, yeah, all the comments about yet another chat app, and how Google has 20 of them...

    Allo is actually pretty nice, with the integrated assistant and all. My kids are all using it, but the mobile-only aspect killed me. I'm old, and I hate typing on a mobile keyboard, plus I spend a big chunk of my waking hours in front of a real keyboard. I like being able to use my phone when I'm away from the computer, but it's so much better to have a real keyboard, where I can type 100 wpm, rather than 2.

    This wil

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Then don't use a mobile keyboard. Buy a full-size USB keyboard and a USB OTG adapter, and physically plug it into your phone's USB port. You can even get a Model M from Unicomp if you want.

      • I have a bluetooth keyboard that I could use, if I wanted to do that. But I don't want an extra keyboard on my desk. I have one already.
  • I am surprised that Google is using the same name for this under Chrome. Google has an extensive history of changing names so as to maximize confusion and doubt. It is probably the only company that seems to be keen on promoting FUD about themselves.
  • Post says "...tweeted: "Allow for web is here! ..." Allo, not allow.
    • BeauHD, it's 11 hours later, and you still haven't corrected the misquote. Please take some fucking care when quoting people, eh? You fucking linked to his actual words so you look incompetent. Slashdot would be ran better by a high school newspaper team. They'd proofread for fucks sake.
  • by sremick ( 91371 )

    Browser-specific? What is this, the 1990s and Microsoft? I don't use Chrome.

    And tied to a specific device, which has to be operational? One of the reasons we love and use Hangouts is because it works no matter what the state of your other device(s) is. Sometimes phones break or become inoperable. The fact that I can still hop in a web browser (ANY web browser) and still access my text messages (Google Voice) and IMs is a lifesaver.

    This is boneheaded, and makes Allo even more DOA than it was before.

  • So it's like Hangouts, but with the extra inconvenience of being tied to your mobile number instead of something easily memorized.

    And with the added pain of REQUIRING YOUR PHONE TO USE THE WEB VERSION.

    It's a pain and does nothing more of value than existing applications. Why does it even exist?

  • Can't see it take off with all the new kewl millennial kids otherwise

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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