Google Abandons Allo Chat App to Focus on RCS Messaging

Apr 21, 2018, 00:27
Google Abandons Allo Chat App to Focus on RCS Messaging

Much like Apple's iMessage, users will also be able to send messages to people whose phones don't support the service. Messages sent over Chat will still be subject to local laws and can be intercepted by local agencies if needed. This is the only disappointing feature inside the new Chat app by Google. But since Apple is unlikely to adopt Chat, Android users will still have to use these cross-platform apps to communicate with friends who have iPhones.

Google will also be affording Chrome users the option to send messages via browser, thanks to a Chat-based extension that is in development.

Chat is not a standalone app and should be thought of more as a new set of tools within the app already installed on most Android handsets. At least initially, Chat will only work through Google Messenger. But now, the company is planning on a major new push it's calling "Chat" that aims to fix Google's messaging client mess.

Google is working on another messaging service, "Chat", in a bid to catch up with Apple iMessage. It'll include highlights like read receipts, having the capacity to see other individuals writing, full-resolution pictures and video, and group messaging.

You'll still have access to other encrypted chat apps on Android, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal, although none of them will ever replace the default SMS app on your handset. There are already 55 carriers and 11 OEMs that have said they'd support Chat, as well as Google and Microsoft.

The bigger mystery, perhaps, is how Google will integrate this into its smorgasbord of messaging solutions - and indeed why it cares when so many people are abandoning SMS in droves for better solutions.

The switch of focus to RCS is a significant departure from Google's previous efforts in the chat space. Why does SMS and its extension, the Multimedia Messaging System (MMS) need to be replaced?

You might remember my article about how Google recently began a rollout of RCS messaging for businesses, for richer communication with customers.

With the halt to Allo, Google is allocating a ton of resources into making this work. Chat will revert back to normal SMS when you are texting someone whose phone is not Chat-enabled.

SMS, an aging standard for simple texting, has largely been supplanted by carrier-supplied systems like the Rich Communications Services standard, which Chat will be implementing soon.

Over time, it will automatically be turned on inside Android Messages, the OS's default app for texting.

Chat apparently appears like the last chance for Google to fix the texting experience on Android as Google has spent almost a decade trying and fixing its lot of text messaging services but didn't seem to get far.