Ending the Google Allo Experiment

Me and my wife experimented with Google Allo over the last few days. Today I’m calling it off, and switching back to our previous messaging preference.

The big missing feature is natove SMS/MMS integration, which really hurts using the app to communicate with family and friends NOT on Allo. That alone is the special sauce that is missing.

Realistically, the features for Allo should have just been built into Hangouts. The native Android SMS client also needs to die.

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Google Allo

Downloaded it today. Here are my initial thoughts.

The Good

  • Clean interface, relatively user friendly
  • Incognito mode uses Signal protocol (and I like Signal itself)
  • Google integration is pretty good
  • Good feature set in general.

The Bad

  • Incognito mode is not as feature rich as I like.
  • Can’t save pictures locally without using something like Google Drive
  • Yet another messaging app for people to not use.

The Ugly

  • HORRIBLE SMS/MMS integration
  • Can’t save pictures sent via Incognito mode (even Signal allows this)
  • Yet another case of “not invented here” syndrome
  • Should have been built into Google Hangouts instead. Feels like a waste of dev resources on Google’s part.

I’ll have more thoughts as I use it. Assuming I can get anyone besides my wife to use it.

Finding the right email provider

For 11 years now, I have had my own domain name, with email provided by the locally-based GoDaddy (as well as a now-defunct website that I used for fun). About a year ago I decided that I wanted to switch from a POP3 setup (which has long been the norm for me) to an IMAP/Exchange style email, especially since I use a high end smartphone, and reading older emails on the go has proven its worth.

So, for the last year or so, I have been using Office 365 provided by GoDaddy hosting. It’s coming up for renewal, and I’m giving serious thoughts about moving to a new provider.

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