Google Allo: what is it and what is not? And other frequently asked questions

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Google Allo has begun to distribute today for Android and iOS and we have already been able to prove it. However, with the recent Google Duo, Hangouts and other services, you may not be very clear about what Google Allo is. We collect a few frequently asked questions, as well as some of their basic use to get rid of doubts.

What is Google Allo?

The official description is: a new smart instant messaging app for Android and iOS whose purpose is to help the user to make plans, find information and express what they feel more easily and without interrupting the conversations they are maintaining.

In practice, Google Allo is a kind of WhatsApp in which the main complaint is a bot (@google) within the individual or group conversations that will serve as an assistant when we mention it. In other words: solve doubts in full conversation. What doubts? How was a football match, a mathematical calculation (sums, subtractions, percentages …), what songs are similar to X, what restaurants are nearby … etc.

Apart from solving doubts, it is also capable of executing commands such as setting an alarm, calling a contact or remembering something (a password, for example).

How do I install it?

As we said, it’s still in the distribution process, so you may not be able to download it from your app store yet (in that case, a pre-registration button will appear to let you know when it’s available). We remember the official links:

Android (Play Store)
iOS (App Store)
If you can not wait for it to officially arrive in your country, then you have the option of downloading the APK.

Do I need a phone number to use Allo?

Yes. Allo is linked to your Google account, but will ask you for a phone number to access the service (in fact, it will send you an SMS to confirm the activation of the app). You also need your number to access your contacts.

Does that mean I can not use Allo on tablets? For now it is not available on Android tablets, but Google says it will support iPads, so we assume that it will end sooner or later.

It is safe?

Google says conversations are encrypted end-to-end or with TSL technologies. Incognito mode is also available (as in Google Chrome) which, apart from the end-to-end encryption, adds options for self-destructing chats and private notifications.

Can I use it on several phones at the same time?

No, Allo works with a phone number, so just like in Snapchat or WhatsApp, you can only have one session open at the same time. If you want to log in to another phone, you will have to leave first of the session that you had already started.

What if I log in to another phone, I lose the conversation histories? Yes. You will still be in the same chat groups, but the conversations are not saved in the cloud as in WhatsApp.

What if I change my phone number? You can unlink the previous one and add it to the new one from Settings. The drawback of doing this is that you will lose both your conversations and the groups to which you belonged.

Do you have a web or desktop version?

No, in theory you can use Allo on the web or desktop when Chrome OS is launched, but you would have the limitation of the phone number, which would imply that you would have to leave the Allo session on your device to access it from the web or desktop.

Do you have stickers?

Yes, by default three packs are installed, although you can download more for now for free.

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