Last year, Google launched Allo, a WhatsApp-like app with built-in Google Assistant, and now, it's readying a version for desktops.
Google's Nick Fox revealed in a tweet on Friday that a desktop web client for the service is coming. That'll help Allo to better compete with Facebook Messenger, or even WhatsApp, as those rival chat apps are available across multiple platforms including the web and mobile.
Google Allo seems like a great idea. We've played with it and really liked that the app is based on phone numbers instead of Google accounts. It makes setup easier, but it also meant we could only use it on our phone. Google didn't offer a desktop client at launch, and in our opinion, that held it back. It simply hasn't performed too well in app charts -- even though it gives people access to Google's coveted AI assistant.
Google Assistant is only available on Google Pixel phones and Google Home. If you've been dying to try it, all you have to do is download Allo. It works in the same way as a bot might in any other messaging app. Just type “@google” followed by your request. You can then search for things, ask it to show you something funny, look for a place nearby to eat, and more. It's not full-fledged Assistant, but it's a taste.
The thing is, we all have laptops, too. And those of us who use iPhones and Macs probably weren't willing to give up iMessage, which is available across all Apple devices, for a chat app that we could only use on our phone. A desktop app, however, will solve that problem, and it will make Android users happy as well. That's because the upcoming app is actually a Chrome web app, not a native Windows or Mac app.
There's no word on when it will actually launch, but it probably won’t be soon, especially considering it’s “still in early development”. We'll probably hear more about it at Google I/O 2017 in May. Keep in mind Google first debuted Allo at Google I/O last year.
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