It is safe to say that Google has been pulling all the stops to push Google Allo to the top of the instant messaging pecking order. The company has consistently rolled out a series of updates to refine and, ultimately, make the app more popular since its release last September.
In this vein, a new update is coming our way that will see Google Allo supporting chat themes. How this new function will look in the app has been revealed in recently leaked images showing the themes in their full glory. To be fair, they do look awesome.
It is important to underscore that chat theme has been introduced in Allo's version 2.0. The update largely focused on the new split-screen and Quick Reply features. The chat themes functionality was also not mentioned in the update's change log.
At this point, a user with the latest version of Google Allo is only able to see a Monochrome theme in the General Settings menu. Tapping this option will not really do anything different to the chat interface because the Allo's default theme has almost similar color scheme.
9to5Google's Stephen Hall was able to get his hands on several chat themes, which included names like Moon, Sorbet and Clouds. The implementation is not really that different from those themes we see in rival instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber. One particular curiosity involves the possibility that the app will suggest that the user choose a theme when starting a conversation.
At this point, the chat themes could be one small feature that can help propel Google Allo to become one of the best messaging apps. It belongs to the apps that have 5 to 10 million downloads, which is still a far cry to the hundreds of millions of users of rival platforms such as Snapchat.
Unlike Duo, Google Allo is not going to be part of the core Google Mobile Services (GMS) component for OEMs using the Android OS. It will miss the opportunity for expansion that will come with being preinstalled in all Android devices, an advantage enjoyed by apps such as YouTube, Gmail and Chrome. So Google is working hard to ensure that the app excels in user engagement. It is certainly a tall order especially when the bulk of its target users are now deeply entrenched in other instant messaging platforms.