This article mentions about Google Allo vs WhatsApp comparison. Google Allo features which are missing in WhatsApp and what is WhatsApp doing to continue ruling the instant messaging market.
The Chat Application wars are just getting started. Google Allo’s here and nobody knows why. What niche they are catering to?
There’s already WhatsApp, Hike, WeChat, iMessage and much more. Google has obviously decided there is an opportunity here. The downloads seem to be supporting their move. Allo is already in the north of 5.2 Million downloads and it has a rating of 4.2. But!
They are not doing as well as they ought to be. Their rankings have tanked and adoption is poor.
Google Allo vs WhatsApp Comparison
Google Allo isn’t providing any new features that aren’t being provided by other chat providers. Google Allo lets you SMS your friends for free from the App. This is an interesting feature that we don’t see on other applications. This might be a user acquisition strategy.
Let’s understand Allo.
Google Allo Features
I’m starting with stickers because it’s the most entertaining aspect of Allo. It is very similar to Hike and Wechat. Allo’s stickers are incredibly adorable and very current. For example, they have a ‘Stranger Things’ sticker collection.
For those of you who aren’t aware. Stranger Things is a Netflix TV show that was the rage of the season. They also have a sloth pack called ‘Lethargic Bliss’ that millennials can relate to. There’s another interesting pack called Busy Dogs for dog lovers. These specific packs really keep people hooked. I was playing around with the sticker collection for quite a bit.
Allo lets you chat with your friends seamlessly across SMS and Allo. I sent a text from my Allo account to my friend and because she didn’t have the app installed, it went as an SMS to her phone. I didn’t get charged for this. Here is a clear explanation about Allo’s fee service. If you didn’t read it, the summary is:
The SMS is sent from a relay number and not directly from your phone.
Themes – iOS
Allo has built-in themes that you can swipe across to choose yours. The transition and selecting a theme process is beautiful and clean. It is definitely a fun process to go through this.
The Google Assitant is a bigger picture play for Google. They want people to be dependent on Google’s services and hence have integrated into the chat. They want to make it as seamless as possible.
You can literally chat with Google Assistant and get a lot of things done. You can find out about the weather, you can pull your calendar up, you can get fun facts delivered to your phone at a time stipulated by you. This is similar to Hike. Does it add any value?
Well, it depends on the user. If you become an Allo power user, then you don’t have to leave the app to perform a lot of the functions. Integrating Google’s search functionality being integrated into every Google service has become a given now.
Google Assistant in Chats
Google Assistant in chats is a very interesting addition. If you are having arguments with your friend regarding the actual age of Beyonce, you don’t have to Google it separately. One of you can just type @google beyonce age and get your answer.
Bad implementation of technology aside, you could do it, if you want to check a place out or find our more information together. This is great for group discovery. When both you and your friend are trying to search for something together.
I wanted to check a place out in Bangalore and I just had to put it into the chat and voila, I got all the details you’d get on a Google Search and more importantly there was Zomato as an option which I use to check the reviews and menu of the place.
With Predictive text technology, Google is helping with reducing interaction even more in this world. Before I get to the negatives of this feature, let’s talk about the feature.
Word suggestions are basically, word suggestions that Google provides when you are chatting with your friend. So when a friend asks, “How are you?”
You’ll get a list of options such as “I’m fine”, “I’m great, how about you?” etc.
I literally chatted with myself through a friend’s phone for ten minutes. The suggestions are pinpoint sometimes and laughably off the other times. Also, it doesn’t understand the context and keeps asking the same question in different ways. According to Google, the algorithm learns your chatting patterns and comes up with better suggestions.
<Rant> Technology is already making us disconnected in terms of face to face interactions. With Allo, it doesn’t even let us express ourselves. People don’t have to type anymore, they just click answers provided by an AI machine. How lazy is this? This cannot be good for humanity if we let our basic conversations be taken over by bots</Rant>
Allo & iOS
I had to mention this. Allo has not been doing well with iOS. The rating for Allo is extremely poor and people are not taking it too well.
Why? Why do we need more Chat apps? The world has already chosen the chat apps they want to use. This is not like a game app where people keep wanting new experiences. People may change their friends but they rarely change their chat apps. Adoption is a big problem, even you as the founder of Google (Larry) would require immense effort for you to convince your friends to shift to Allo.
What’s Whatsapp been up to?
The King of Chat, WhatsApp has been doing exceptionally well at what they are good at, being consistent. WhatsApp doesn’t fool around with extra settings and features. They put out a feature and make sure that works. They put out features that people need.
Whatsapp in their latest update have got the video calling feature which nails another important feature. In third world countries where there are network problems in terms of getting a reception, a lot of people rely on WhatsApp calls to reach another person. A WhatsApp call is through the internet and this is the advantage. A video call option will take away a lot of traffic away from Skype. When people are used to chatting on WhatsApp, it’s easier to make a video call from there.
WhatsApp have the market and they are a dedicated business, this is their only product. Allo, on the other hand, is just one of Google’s products and if it doesn’t work for them, they’ll just stop the service.
In terms of functionalities, Allo might seem a little more expressive and fun. But it doesn’t yet have the reliability of WhatsApp. A combination of Mobile WhatsApp and WhatsApp on the web makes it the ultimate application. You can use it for work, where you are sending a number of files. You can type and chat faster with clients through the web client.
Most importantly, WhatsApp has your friends. All of them. You cannot make all of them move because that will mean they would have the convince their friends and so on. My vote stands for Allo dying a slow or quick death depending on Google’s ego. We don’t need another chat application and WhatsApp still rules.