Although many users were irritated by Allo’s lack of features, there was one existing feature in particular that rubbed a number of people the wrong way. While a cool idea on the surface, Allo’s ability to message people even if they don’t have the app (and then prompting them to download Allo) led some users’ friends and family to ask them to stop using it. Now Google is proud to announce that all of your messaging apps will soon have the same feature.
Google calls it App Preview Messaging, and it’s rolling out to Google Play services on Android as of today. With App Preview Messaging, you can send messages to any contact in your phonebook through the messaging app of your choice, and the recipient doesn’t even have to have the same app to receive the message. They’ll get a notification with your name and number, and will be able to reply within the notification or download the app for themselves.
This doesn’t seem to be a feature anybody in particular was clamoring for. It doesn’t in any way solve the inconvenience that many people use a variety of messaging apps on a daily basis depending on the preferences of those that they interact with. Nevertheless, it may serve as a handy stopgap as we attempt (hopefully) to transition from this era of myriad messaging platforms to one streamlined and integrated messaging experience.
Right now, Google is only experimenting with this capability with an unnamed list of test partners. However, it’s their goal to eventually roll it out to support all major messaging apps.
The recipient doesn’t even have to have the same app to receive the message.
Naturally, since this is a Google Play services update, the recipient has to be running Android for this to be effective. However, the sender can be running iOS or Android. The feature can be disabled in Google Play settings if it starts to bug you.
Maybe we’re being too hard on App Preview Messaging. What are your thoughts regarding this new feature? Useful or a nuisance? Let us know your take in the comments below!