Only a few days ago, reports surfaced that Google Hangouts was shutting down in 2020. While Google has since clarified any confusion, it didn’t take long for another rumor to appear — this time, in reference to its chat app Allo. According to 9to5Google, sources close to the matter claim the tech giant will shut Allo down “soon.” These rumors were quickly followed up by more clarification from Google — but this time, the tech giant confirmed it would indeed be closing Allo in 2019.
Allo’s shutdown shouldn’t be a huge surprise. As mentioned in Google’s statement, Allo’s headline features have since made their way to the Messages app, and shutting down Allo allows Google to focus on making Messages better. Google has confirmed that Allo will continue to work until March 2019, but will be shuttered after that. Google has also provided instructions on how to backup your chats, so you can take everything with you when Allo is put out to pasture.
Google Allo originally launched two years ago, for both the Android and iOS phones, as the sixth messaging app from the company. To use Allo, you simply sign in with your phone number and sync your Google account; this will allow you to use Google Assistant within the message window while talking to friends or family.
The report from 9to5Google mentions that the news of Allo shutting down comes about eight months after the vice president of Chrome, Comms, and Photos at Google, Anil Sabharwal, revealed that the company was pressing pause on investment of the messaging app. The publication also points out that not only has Allo been having issues with functionality, but that the Allo team has been tasked with working on Android Messages instead — which would make sense, seeing as how the company has been placing a lot of emphasis on its efforts with Rich Communication Services.
Also known as RCS, it is meant to replace SMS (Short Message Service). This past year, the company announced that it was working with every major carrier in the world to adopt RCS in the form of Chat. As with iMessage, users will be able to receive read receipts and also see when a message is delivered in real time. You’ll also be able to send video and audio messages, start group chats, as well as send high-resolution images.
Chats was also referenced when Google was clearing the air about Google Hangouts. A spokesperson for Google confirmed that while Hangouts is shutting down in the future, a specific date hasn’t been set yet — specifically stating that the company is “fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet.”
Updated on December 6, 2018: We’ve added Google’s confirmation Allo will be shutting down in 2019.
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