Google Messaging Client Face Off: Allo vs Hangouts

Allo is Google’s latest consumer-facing messaging client, which is almost similar to Hangouts but with a few differences. Most of which are a lot better. With both messaging clients under Google, many people are asking why the tech company decided to create an entirely new app rather than improve the features and capabilities of Hangouts. Is it a case of providing users a variety of options?

One thing is for sure, people now have to choose between Allo and Hangouts, comparing their features, capabilities, and pros and cons.  Which one is better?

What Allo is Capable of

  • Simple and straightforward setup. Confirm your phone number, wait for the activation SMS and voila! You’re done.
  • Integrated with Google’s AI assistant and smart replies. Before you know it, you will receive suggestions for replies based on what you usually use. You can just tap on an option, rather than type the entire phrase.
  • Pulls contacts from your phone book instead of from your Gmail account. This means you don’t need to be connected online to start a conversation, just your phone number.
  • Finding friends quickly and on a wider breach. You’re likely to have more contacts based on phone numbers alone, giving you access to a host of friends you can add and talk to.

What Allo is Incapable of

  • Multiple accounts. It only allows a single account to be used. If you wish to use the app on another device, you need to give up your account from the old device.
  • SMS integration. Can’t send SMS to people who don’t have the Allo installed.
  • Use on multiple devices at the same time. Allo only works on one mobile device at a time, so you can’t have Allo on both your mobile phone and tablet. You have to pick one.
  • Web/computer interface. Lacks the ability to start a conversation using your computer or through the web.
  • Syncing settings and conversations. Uninstall Allo from one device, and you will lose your conversations when you reinstall it on another device.

What Hangouts is Capable of

  • An even simpler setup. You log in to Hangouts every time you log in with your Google/Gmail account. No need to wait for an activation SMS.
  • Use of multiple accounts. It doesn’t matter how many devices you have, as long as you can log in to your Google account, you will have access to Hangouts.
  • Seamlessly integrating SMS, allowing users to send and receive SMS. Newer update, however, is said to create separate conversations, depending on whether you used SMS or Hangouts.
  • Being used on multiple devices, mobile and otherwise, at the same time. Hangouts can be installed and used on your mobile phone, computer and other platforms compatible with the app.
  • Syncing settings and conversations without a problem
  • Video conferencing

What Hangouts is Incapable of

  • Using AI assistant and smart replies
  • Pulling contacts from your phone book, requiring you to manually add people to your Hangout’s contact list.

Depending on the features you’re looking for, your vote can go either way. But just when you think it’s over, you may have to compare Allo with Facebook Messenger and iMessage. The battle of messaging clients indeed.

1 comment
  1. I have tried both. The only thing that Allo had going for it in my view was the Assistant. I had very few contacts who used the app and the dropoff was fairly rapid. Hangouts, on the other hand, lets me text to anyone whose number I have. And with the incorporation of Google Voice i can make calls and video chats. Hangouts wins in my book.

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