While the majority of the western Google-using tech world awaits Google to finally add the little missing features to Allo, you know Multi-device compatibility, a web client, message restore on set-up- you know the basic features most IM apps have, Google is busy pushing out the less helpful updates, including Stickers and emoji enhancements and wallpapers.

Seriously, Allo has been more than a little dividing, for people who seem to live on one device and rarely go near messaging on a PC Allo could well be a great messaging app, however, I say to those people enjoy setting up your next phone, Google has a surprise for you. For the rest of us, Allo is a great app with excellent promise and features that completely fails to even meet the basic criteria of a messaging platform.

All of that aside, today Google has announced a new update to Allo including auto-suggestion of Stickers and Emoji, sticker previews, custom backgrounds for each chat and the arrival of the Fantastic Beasts sticker pack. With sticker and emoji suggestion you can now click on the “Smart Smiley” button (Google’s nomenclature not mine) and Google will auto-suggest appropriate Stickers and emoji for the content. All Allo related Snark aside, this is a cool feature and shows the true power of adding Google’s AI into the messaging space.

The second new feature allows users to click on a previously received sticker to preview the pack and use one of the pack’s stickers in reply. If you look closely at the stickers below you may detect something magical about them. As part of Google’s marketing deal with Warner Bros for Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the wizarding sticker pack has made its way onto the platform.

Finally, do you find your chats a little same same? Do you want to spice up your Allo experience? If so then custom backgrounds are for you. Following the update, you will be able to apply a theme to each chat you have to give each one a unique look and feel.

From a usability and UI perspective, there are some decent updates that many people will find useful. I know better emoji hunting is definitely something I would like. Whether Allo is an app that meets ALL of your messaging needs or not this is clearly Google’s primary messaging platform for now. That said, it will need some significant updates to prise Telegram out of my hands.

If you haven’t checked out Allo and you’ve got a few family or friends who you only converse with via SMS then try and get them to switch. I have a very small group I communicate with via Allo instead of SMS, as compared to SMS it is better, and while I could have moved them onto Telegram, they are my unknowing Allo guinea pigs.

If you want to try Allo grab it below.

Google Allo
Google Allo
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Are you using Allo? Let us know what you think of it below.

Source: Google.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark McLeod

Agree with the sentiment of this article, why is something like this so hard to provide? After coming from an iPhone back to a Pixel iMessage is the biggest thing i miss, its a super simple tool but Google is flailing, wacky inflatable flailing


Hey Mark, welcome back to the light side, good news is there are lots of good alternatives, problem is getting your friends onto it.

Mark McLeod

Yes, thats the problem, all disjointed and no single tool that is the android go to. Allo is a hot looking app, they should add this new technology called SMS into it, make it default, and the run with it as ‘the’ messaging app


Allo Ausdroid? You there? Any chance of a reach out to Aussie Telcos?


I already deleted Allo on my phone. Enough messaging tools. Now mainly use WeChat and Messenger. Google brings a lot of messaging trouble to customers. If they still don’t improve it in the future, I probably will switch back to iPhone. So good experience.


That may work for those who only communicate within the bounds of our networks, but what if you’re communicating across the seas?

I’ve found Telegram to be perfect for my messaging needs, I can’t imagine how anyone could “do it better”

Perhaps Google should buy Telegram!


If you’re communicating with networks overseas that don’t support RCS then it would simply fallback to standard SMS


And not have the cool features. I’m not sure RCS will be a viable solution if it’s not almost universally implemented in the same way.

All companies are looking for the lock in.

Jamie S

Allo who?


Allo Allo Allo!


Surely no Allo article is complete without a picture of Rene, Helga, or Herr Flick?


Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once!

IT took me ages to get my wife to use Hangouts, so now persuading her she has to change over to something else again is a hard sell. Plus I don’t really care about stickers and such.


Your wife, is she da madonna wiz ze big boobies? Nudge nudge, wink, wink, say no more. Thought occurred the other day. What if allo and duo are just a prelude to google baking them into the OS? They are very ‘single point’ and tying them to the device rather than account would be quite simple. It would then make sense of having the assistant in there. Think in the notification shade and using floating windows to sit over/share other apps. Either that, or they are just another google cockup – that they appear to have been making lots of… Read more »


Even baked into the OS (which would be silly from an ability to update them perspective) they are still two apps when only one is needed/wanted, and even combined they don’t cover everything a messaging app needs to cover.


Didn’t mean actually embedded in the OS image, more that they would be much closer integrated into the overall UI, and think of it more from an ‘intent’ PoV. For instance, you have a pull down panel with your contacts in it. Touch on the icon for one and you get the option of contacting via various methods, and once connected, can use and share apps with them whilst chatting. You could also use the assistant interface to initiate and manage, etc. Imagine the whole thing being voice controlled. We know they don’t make sense at the moment, but maybe… Read more »