It’s been a long time coming, but Google Allo is finally rolling out across the world, bringing a variety of cool features to a messaging platform.
As with many app rollouts, these things can take a bit of time and Google Play isn’t granting access at the time of writing. But if you’re feeling a little impatient like us, we show you how to get Google Allo in SA…
For starters, you’ll want to visit your settings menu and the privacy or security sub-menu. From this sub-menu, you should be able to enable installations from third party/unofficial sources.
You’ll need to do this because we’ll be downloading Allo from an unofficial website.
Owned by the ever-reliable Android Police website, APKMirror is a repository stocking the latest APK files. And they’re rather secure for the most part, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about dodgy files.
Anyway, you’ll want to visit this link on your Android device and download the Allo APK, being the installation file for Allo. Simply tap the downloaded file afterwards and the installation should begin.
Once you’ve got the app installed, you’ll need to send a confirmation SMS, take a profile picture and give yourself a name.
As for specific features worth checking out, there’s integrated Google Assistant support (being a contact and popping up in conversations), there’s the neat Whisper-Shout functionality and there’s the ability to conduct “incognito” conversations. In a nod to Mailbox, Allo also delivers Smart Replies, allowing people to quickly reply to messages with preset responses.
At this stage, it seems like Allo is hooking into Google Hangouts for some contacts though, but it’s unclear whether they can see messages (we’ve since tested this and found it shows the non-Allo-having sender the message, but urges them to download Google Allo to respond).