Will you try to persuade your friends and family to use Allo and Duo?

Now that Google’s messaging platform is complete – or some might argue overcomplete – with its new offerings of Allo and Duo, it’s time to ask ourselves a question. Actually, it’s time to ask a series of questions. Will I use it? If I use it, who will I use it with? Can I get my peeps to use it? Do people still say “peeps” anymore? These are all really important questions, and the Weekend Debate is all about questions, so let’s dive in shall we?

google-allo-search-conversations-5-217x386Cross the streams

One of the great things about Allo and Duo are that they’re both cross-platform unlike some other video chat/message services we could mention. That means they’re available for everyone. Well, 95% of everyone anyway. So the really, truly great thing about this is, no one gets left out. There are no green bubbles and blue bubbles. We all get the same colored bubbles, regardless of our phones of choice.

Google is also making it pretty easy to get Allo as well. If you send a message to someone who isn’t using it, they’ll receive a notification and link to download the app. Your account is automatically tied to your phone number and google account, so that’s another easy step to take. Setting up Allo on an Android phone is very easy.

So, right off the bat, that’s two pitfalls that could potentially derail a new communications app platform. So let’s talk about the stuff that’s still there, shall we?

And yet…

Right off the bat, let’s fess up to it – Allo can’t do as much as iMessage can. This is not a surprise; Allo is a brand new app. It hasn’t had the seasoning that iMessage has had thus far. But there are a number of things that iMessage can do, that Allo can’t. Want a big one? How about 12, 10 or 7 inches big? Allo is only available to phones (a single phone as a matter of fact) and has no desktop platform.

Also, Allo cannot be a default handler for SMS messages. iMessage is basically at its core and enhanced text messaging system with a pretty low learning curve. Out of the box, if you’re getting texts, you’re getting iMessages. Not so for Allo. This can lead to confusion or at the very least slow adoption.

Google DuoBetter late than never

Allo and Duo are both extremely late to the party. Personally, from a user perspective, Duo beats the stuffing out of other video chat services because it’s very easy to make a Duo call. I’ve had Skype and Facebook Messenger and a host of other apps that had the capability of video chat, but Duo is the first I’ve had that was solely for video chat and was easy to use.

But, both of these apps are only just now surfacing while other chat apps are being bought for billions of dollars. The biggest obstacle that Allo and Duo face is they don’t bring a lot of new to the table, except Google Trump card.

Can I help you?

Google Assistant could be (read: almost certainly will be) the service that makes or breaks Allo as a messaging service. The more deeply Google can get entrenched in a conversation, the better Allo will be. But will the rest of us be better off? The tradeoff for Google Assistant is, like a host of other Google Services, privacy. Google will need to keep all of your conversations around in order to provide you with such smart instant replies. And that’s data it can and probably will monetize at some point.

So Allow and Duo have their advantages and disadvantages. But the question remains: should you try and convince your friends and family to try it? Personally, I already have and have made a few converts. Knowing the potential of Allo, and knowing that it could eventually develop into a fully integrated cross platform messaging app is pretty powerful. But as I often say, don’t judge a product on what it might do tomorrow, judge it by what it does today.

I’m breaking that rule, by endorsing it. But does that mean you can, will, or should? That’s what debates are all about! So sound off down below and give your reasons. Maybe you’re already entrenched in an ecosystem. Maybe you love its potential. Maybe you don’t care. Let us know where you stand in the comments and let’s see if we can figure this out.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!