Google's messaging app Allo has now been released as a web app, but using it can be quite tricky. The web version works just as the mobile version does, a simple chat app with Google-specific services such as Smart Replies, Assistant, stickers, and more.
This isn't the first time we've seen Allo's desktop version, though. Back in February, Nick Fox, Google's VP of communications products, published a screenshot via Twitter showing the Allo desktop client, noting that it was still in "early" development. Amit Fulay, Allo's head of product, later said in July that the web version would launch in a "few more weeks."
The schedule sounds about right. Fulay on Tuesday, Aug. 15, announced via Twitter that Allo is now available on the web but only for Android users for the time being.
The web version of Allo somewhat uses a similar pairing process with WhatsApp. Again, this is only available for Android devices for now, but the landing page does indicate that iPhones will be supported down the line.
How To Set Up Google Allo On The Web
To start, make sure you have the latest version of Allo installed. Go to the Allo website, and there you'll find a QR code. Open Allo on your Android device and access the menu. There you should find a new "Allo for web" option. Select it and scan the QR code using your phone.
Now here's the tricky part: because the web version merely mirrors the mobile version of Allo, if your phone's battery dies or if you quit the app, the web version will stop working. Anything you can do on the mobile version you'll be able to do on the web, including accessing Assistant, sending stickers, and more. But again, once you quit Allo on your mobile device, the web version will stop functioning. This presumably is for security reasons.
Differences Between Allo For Mobile And The Web
The user interface is simple enough. There's the left pane where all your conversations are, and there's the wider right pane featuring the actual chat bubbles and threads. It's sort of similar to the user interface of Facebook's Messenger — the web version, to be more specific.
You can use all sorts of stuff such as emoji, stickers, and more. You can even access the sticker gallery to download more sticker packs. You can also send attachments and invoke Google Assistant inside different threads to use its functions such as searching for an image or seeking out information.
If you love Allo on mobile, you'll love Allo on the web because they're basically the same thing.