Google Allo can now be accessed through your web browser.

Google first teased that Allo, its messenger app with built-in Google Assistant, would come to the desktop last February. Many expected the company to launch the web version at Google I/O in May, but that didn't happen. Now, several months later, it's gone live. And it works a lot like WhatsApp for the web in that you can only install it by scanning a QR code on your phone. Here's what you need to know.

Google describes Allo as a messaging app for Android and iPhone users. But it does a lot more than just allow you to send messages to other people. It's a smart messaging app in that it has the power of Google built-in and can learn over time. Allo is also based on your phone number, so you can use it to send text messages to anyone in your phonebook - not just other Allo users.

In a nut shell: You can now use the full Google Allo service from your computer. But there's a caveat. Google Allo for web only works on a computer and if you use an Android phone. That means you can only install it by scanning a QR code on your Android phone (iPhone users are left in the lurch for now). Also, if you try to view Allo for web on your mobile browser, it won't work.

You need Google's Chrome browser, of course, to access Google Allo for web. You also need the latest version of Google Allo running on your Android Phone. Google said "iOS pairing" is coming soon.

In your Google Allo mobile app's menu, check that you can see 'Allo for web'. If you can, follow these steps to connect your Google Allo app to your Chrome browser on your computer:

  • On your computer, open Google Allo for web.
  • On your phone, open the Google Allo app.
  • Tap Menu and then Allo for web and then Scan QR code.
  • Scan the QR code that's visible on Allo for web.
  • When connected, Allo for web will open on the browser.

Google Allo for web only shows what's on the Google Allo app on your phone. So, if your phone runs out of battery or if you exit the mobile app, Google Allo for web won't work. You can learn about how Allo works on mobile devices from here:

Check out Google's support page for more information.