Allo is Google’s hot new messaging platform, and one particularly interesting thing is that you can send Allo messages to users even if they don’t have the app installed. This is naturally a pretty clever way for Google to drive people toward the app, but let’s take a closer look at this feature.
When you’re in your contact list in Allo, all of your contacts are displayed – not just those who have the app. If you attempt to message a friend who does not have the app, you’ll receive a notification saying that your message will be sent via text message.
Your compatriot, meanwhile will receive an SMS message from a 5-digit number, as is common with text message alerts from automated systems. The message will inform the recipient that you (by name and phone number) are attempting to chat with them via Allo. They are also provided with a link to the app’s download page in the Google Play Store.
The two of you can continue the conversation even if your friend elects not to download Allo. The conversation will simply be passed through that relay number with you seeing the messages in Allo and your friend seeing them in their text message app.
Due to the nature of SMS messages, you will not be able to exchange things like stickers or MMS components like pictures. Only text can be sent. Recipients of Allo messages using some Android devices will also receive a notification from Google services inviting them to download the app upon receipt of an Allo message ferried via SMS.
Due to the nature of SMS messages, you will not be able to exchange things like stickers or MMS components like pictures. Only text can be sent.
This is how it works for most cases, but for some contacts in Allo, there isn’t an option to send messages via “free SMS.” There is simply an “invite” button. We’re not sure yet why some users can have full conversations but others are limited to simple invites.
In this age of growing suspicion and smartphone security concern, there’s no doubt that we’re about to be looking at a flurry of confirmation messages along the lines of, “Hey, I just got this Allo message thing and it says its from you. Is that right?” Be prepared to assure your less tech-savvy friends that you haven’t been hacked by The Google.
What do you think of Allo’s intriguing SMS messaging system? It doesn’t seem quite polished yet, but it will definitely be bringing the app a lot of attention it might not have otherwise snagged. Let us know your opinions about it in the comments below!