Google Allo incognito chat AA

By far one of the coolest features Google’s new Allo messenger brings to the table is the ability to chat in incognito mode. Allo’s incognito mode allows you to take advantage of expiring chats and private notifications. And since all your messages are end-to-end encrypted, they’ll only be seen by you and the person you’re talking to. Also, Google can’t read any of your messages, so you can’t use Smart Reply or Google Assistant. Basically if you need to have a super secret conversation with someone, you’ll want to do so in an incognito chat.

See also:

Google’s Allo is powered by the same encryption tech used in WhatsApp

May 19, 2016

If you’re new to Google Allo and want to know how to start an incognito chat, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Allo
  2. Click the New Chat button on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. Click Start incognito chat
  4. From the Contacts list, select the person’s name you’d like to chat with

Congratulations, you’ve just started your first incognito chat! Before you go about your business, there are a few more things you should know. For starters, you won’t receive detailed notifications when someone messages you in incognito mode. You’ll only get a notification that reads “You have a new message.” Pretty cool, right?

You can also set messages to expire after a certain amount of time. Messages can be set to expire after five seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, or you can turn this feature off completely. Here’s how to change the chat expiration time in Allo:

  1. Click the timer button on the top-right of your screen
  2. Scroll through and select your desired chat expiration time
  3. Click Save

You can also turn all notifications off entirely by heading to Menu>Settings>Notifications.

Have you used incognito chats in Allo? If so, how are you liking the experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.
  • Justin B

    Does taking a screenshot of an incognito conversation notify the other person that a screenshot was taken? Snapchat does this. Expiring messages are great and all, but if I can just screenshot everything, what’s the point?

    • FrostyPL

      Your girlfriend won’t read your messages with that hot chick :D.

      • Michael Sanchez

        or boyfriend. lol

        • noh1bvisas

          good one. you might be surprised how true that is.

          • Michael Sanchez

            I can imagine husbands messing around with other men behind their wives back. Yeeeesh. =/

  • noh1bvisas

    hillary should love this feature. it will save her having to delete everything.

  • sandycheeks

    please can someone tell me what phone is used for the screenshots here?

    • noh1bvisas

      looks like any android. why would it matter?

      • sandycheeks

        um i know it sounds weird but it looks super nice to me, like the interface especially. i have an htc desire 610 now and i’m looking for something that really suits my taste. super anal about aesthetics though

        • noh1bvisas

          not weird. i was just curious. it looked “normal” ;)

          • sandycheeks


    • Jimmy Westenberg

      I used a Nexus 6P to take the screenshots.

      • sandycheeks

        yaaaay thanks buddy ^_^

  • Ous

    Do your contacts need to have Allo installed before you can do incognito chats?

  • ttrimmer

    I had read that screenshots were disabled in incognito mode but you can definitely screenshot conversations. What’s the point if you can do that?

  • Awesome Bryner

    Not installing another message app just for more features, when they could of just updated the stock one anyways. Pretty lame.

    • Caleb Faulkner

      I agree. They should have just added all of this to “messenger”.

  • TonyHoyleUK

    It seems broken – it just says ‘Let Allo access your contacts in settings’, but (a) there is no such option, and (b) the normal group chat option works correctly.

    Looks like a basic message app, but I have whatsapp, telegram, facebook, etc. all of which have more features – why would I want this?