One of the big complaints about Allo in the early going is its shoddy SMS support. While the app lets you contact non-Allo users over SMS, it’s only in a bridge capacity. For instance, texting non-Allo users on iOS devices gives them a 5-digit relay conversation to deal with, while texting buddies on Android will act as a separate conversation within Allo instead of a pure SMS thread. Long story short, it’s better to either get your friends to use Allo or not use it at all.
Well, maybe that could change. Google engineer and co-lead on Allo Justin Uberti had a quick back and forth with a user on Twitter expressing their distaste for Allo’s lack of SMS support. At the end of it all, Facebbook Messenge was brought up as an app that is succeeding with an all-in-one model (whereas the Google is trying to argue that isn’t the way to go). Whether you agree, he gave some glimmer of hope that Allo could eventually get more fleshed out SMS support:
@HarrisonHopkins was SMS a v1 feature of Messenger? That is the fundamental question.
— Justin Uberti (@juberti) September 22, 2016
That’s not a hard confirmation of, well, anything. But it does give us a strong indication that Google may have deeper plans for Allo down the line, and those plans will hopefully include proper SMS fallback ala Facebook Messenger or iMessage.
As it stands, though, Allo is being treated as a pure messaging app, albeit a damned good one. It’s just easier to contact your friends through it without having to get them to sign up than it is to do the same in any other app to date.