Here’s how Allo’s weird SMS support works



One of the most important factors for the success of Allo is SMS integration. The implementation of SMS has been unclear up to this point, but now that Allo has finally been released, we have some information. You can send SMS with Allo, but it doesn’t work in the traditional way.

When you send a message to someone who isn’t on Allo you will see “You are chatting with NAME by SMS for free.” The recipient receives the following message from a random number:

YOUR NAME [phone number]) added you on Google Allo to chat. Text HELP to learn more or STOP to unsubscribe.

Here’s where it gets tricky. If the person doesn’t want to use Allo, but you do, every message you send will be from that random number instead of your own. If the recipient is using an Android phone they may even get the option to click a button to install Allo. The weirdness doesn’t stop there.

You can’t actually set Allo as your default messaging app. This also means you can’t switch to a different SMS app and see all your Allo conversations. If you delete Allo you will not receive messages sent through Allo. You have to manually go into the settings and de-register your phone number before uninstalling Allo. Basically, it’s the same thing Apple does with iMessage. You know, the thing everyone hates. Also, you can’t use Allo on more than one device. The future!

The way Allo handles SMS is, frankly, not ideal. They somehow managed to turn SMS into an app you have to beg your friends to download. Which is the exact opposite of what Android users want. Sending an SMS to a non-Allo user should look no different than any other SMS. Sending a message to other Allo users should include all the fancy Allo goodies. In other words, iMessage for Android. That’s all we want.

[via AndroidPolice]

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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