Google’s Allo will officially shut down next Spring

With the recent news that Google will be eventually be migrating Hangouts classic users to Hangouts Chat, the company has decided to put a date on the shutdown of Allo. The service will be operational until March of 2019, giving users a bit more than three months to export their data and find a replacement messaging app.
Google launched Allo a few years back with a lot of fan fair. The company pitched the service as an alternative to WhatsApp, tying it to the user’s phone number without needing a Google account. Allo offered end-to-end encryption, special capabilities with the built-in Google Assistant and dozens of other features which made it quite compelling. Despite Google’s best efforts, Allo never really caught on, topping out t roughly 50 million active users. While that number is quite bit, it pales in comparison to the 1 billion or more users that rely on WhatsApps, Facebook Messenger and other messaging platforms.
There is no direct replacement for Allo, but Google is urging those who still use the service to check out Android Messages. Many of the developers from the Allo team have been moved over and are now working to integrate some of the best features from Allo into Android Messages. The app comes pre-installed on quite a few Android devices as the default SMS app and is fully compatible with RCS.
“We’re excited by the progress we’ve made with our communications experience over the past few years, and ready to take what we’ve learned from Allo and put it to work to make Messages even better. And by refocusing on Messages and Duo for consumers and Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for team collaboration, we’re focused on delivering a simpler and more unified communications experience for all of you.”
Google’s messaging strategy has been a bit jumbled over the past few years. We’re not sure that shutting down Allo will make things any better, but it’s nice to see that Google is still working to find the right solution for a single messaging platform.
Source: Google

Google updates Messages app to fix bug that broke search functionality [APK Download]

Some of you may have recently encountered an annoying bug in Google’s SMS app Messages (formerly Android Messages) whereby the search function would no longer work — ironic when your company is primarily known as a search engine. Thankfully, a fix has now been released and the issue should no longer present itself.

Hey @Google, thanks for updating the #Pixel operating system so now I can’t search my text messages by anything other than the people in the conversation. Read MoreGoogle updates Messages app to fix bug that broke search functionality [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google to pull the plug on Hangouts in 2020

If you’re still using Google Hangouts, you should start looking for an alternative over the coming months. According to a source who’s familiar with the Hangouts internal roadmap, Google is planning on pulling to plug on the messaging platform sometime in 2020. The service hasn’t received any updates in more than a year and Google itself has already mentioned that Hangouts would be repurposed as an enterprise messaging service for its G Suite customers as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
While Google doesn’t have a direct replacement for Hangouts, the planned shutdown of the platform isn’t surprising. For the past few years, Google has been leading the charge on RCS which is the replacement for MMS service that’s offered by nearly every service provider around the globe. Android Messages is likely what Google plans to use as its direct Hangouts replacement once the new Chat feature which will allow many of the same features that are built into Hangouts and allow you to send and receive messages on your phone and computer.

Hangouts was never the perfect chat service, but it did become the default platform for millions who relied heavily on Android and Gmail since the service was built into Gmail on the web. While I personally still use Hangouts as my main messaging platform to communicate with friends, family and co-workers, it may finally be time to find a replacement messaging service. Most other platforms have evolved way beyond what Hangouts has to offer, but it’ll be hard living with an alternative service which doesn’t allow you to search through years of archived messages or quickly find images which were sent to you and automatically stored in Google Photos.
Source: 9to5Google

The latest Messages 3.7 update is crashing constantly on Wear OS watches

Messages 3.7 began rolling out a few days ago, and while the update brings some significant improvements on Android phones, notably the addition of contact sharing, it did something a lot less desirable on Wear OS. The app is now crashing constantly on smartwatches and can’t even stay open for a second.

The widespread issue started creeping up five days ago with the rollout of Messages 3.7.049. Watches from all walks of life are seeing the problem, so this doesn’t seem to be limited to a certain model, maker, or Wear OS version (whatever these are now). Read MoreThe latest Messages 3.7 update is crashing constantly on Wear OS watches was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Messages' search feature is getting an overhaul this week

Android Messages is getting a big upgrade to its searchability. You can already search in Messages using the magnifying glass icon at the top of your conversation list, but right now, the functionality is limited to text. Soon, that icon will access a much richer search function, allowing you to easily find photos, videos, and places you’ve shared in text messages.

The new search will start with a list of people you frequently contact. Read MoreAndroid Messages’ search feature is getting an overhaul this week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.