Google debuted two new cross-platform messaging apps at yesterday’s I/O kickoff: Allo, for text-based conversations augmented by search, and Duo for video calls.
They look like fine apps, aside from Allo’s poor security defaults — they might even be brilliant apps. But Casey Newton of the Verge points out why they’re always going to be flawed:
Three years ago, Google set out to fix its chaotic messaging strategy with a single app. This summer, getting the full Google messaging experience will mean downloading as many as four apps: Hangouts, Allo, Duo, and Google Messenger, for sending SMS messages on Android.
That list doesn’t include Who’s Down, their quietly-released private chat app for meeting up with friends, nor does it include the text capabilities in Google Voice. All of these apps are currently being developed.
I don’t see why Google felt the need to separate chat functionality into six different apps. It’s overcomplicated and messy.