Can Allo snatch the crown from WhatsApp? The new messaging app has been making the news for all of the wrong reasons, but is it a worthy challenger to the most popular app on the market? Aside from the privacy issues that made headlines worldwide, which app is actually better in terms of overall user experience?
If you’re not sure which to use, here’s a guide that will take you through the positives found with each one so you can decide for yourself!
Why Use WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a familiar friend for many of us, and it’s actually older than you might expect. It was originally released in 2010, and it has evolved into the most popular messaging application in use at the moment.
One of the best things about WhatsApp is that it works perfectly, allowing for phone calls over the Internet that are relatively decent depending on your Internet connection. It has read receipts and everything else you would expect from the biggest in the business.
The sheer length of time it has been out for means it’s a refined experience that most of us know and trust. It’s fully encrypted, allowing users to send messages to one another safe in the knowledge that it’s a relatively secure method of communication.
I send messages to people on WhatsApp every day, and it’s my primary go-to when I need to get ahold of somebody (or even take a good guess at when they fell asleep the night before).
So, is there any point in moving over to Allo? Let’s take a look at what makes it unique.
Why Use Allo?
Allo is going to have to work hard to win us over from WhatsApp, but it is possible if they provide a ridiculously good service. So, is it worth it?
The Smart Reply feature is supposedly a big draw, as it learns from you to provide an enhanced predictive messaging service. It won’t be producing paragraphs, but it’s a good way to speed up communication with a few taps. (It also has a lot of scope in the future as it improves.)
The Google Assistant is an integrated add-on that should also make a few users make the jump across. It means you have to allow access to your search history and location, but it’s not that different than something like Facebook or Twitter that ask for fairly similar permissions.
It’s really easy to get used to it, and when used with Smart Reply, it can lead to helpful suggestions that should get better with more use. It does mean that you’ll be giving Google access to your messages, so it depends on your personal stance regarding privacy. (Some people prefer to keep their private messages private.)
You can also alter the size of text for emphasis, and that can’t be done on WhatsApp. However, you won’t be able to make phone calls from the app, which is a deal-breaker for many users that have come to expect it as standard.
It’s still in the early days, and there’s no reason why Allo can’t be refined into an all-purpose messaging app to suit all of our needs. The added features will probably give it an edge in the future, but there’s no reason to replace WhatsApp for now.
The Google Assistant and Smart Reply features are obviously what Google is banking on to draw us over, but it’s hard to say whether it’ll be more than just a fad (especially when you consider the bad press and middling reviews it received during launch).
There’s a reason why WhatsApp is so popular. Everyone has it, and it can be trusted to get the job done, especially considering the ability to make calls via the app. Allo does have a chance to supplant it in the future as it keeps adding features, but there’s a chance it could just feel more bloated in comparison to the current number one.
Personally, I’ll probably keep using the Google Assistant for now, but if I need to send a message I’ll be opening WhatsApp instead.