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Google pauses Allo in favor of iMessage rival called Chat

The Allo messaging app is taking a backseat to the tech giant's backing of Rich Communications Services, or RCS, an Android alternative to Apple's iMessage.

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Google isn't putting as much resources into Allo as it used to.

CNET

Google is putting its Allo messaging app on the backburner as it concentrates on an Android alternative to Apple's iMessage.

The tech giant said in a blog post Thursday it'll "pause investment" in development of Allo, confirming a report in The Verge. The move was made to focus resources on Rich Communications Services, or RCS, a standard known as Chat that will bring enhanced features to SMS texting.

Text messaging is one of the most widely used services on mobile devices throughout the world, but the 160-character messaging functionality was developed for the flip-phone era. Today's phones are more powerful and users expect more functionality, like the ability to know if their text has been read or to see when someone is typing a message back to them.

Google has been talking up RCS as the technology standard that makes that happen, almost as long as it's offered Allo.

Allo, available on both the Android and iOS mobile operating systems, was first introduced during Google I/O in 2016 as a challenger to Apple's iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and others. But it also included Google Assistant, the web giant's artificial intelligence chatbot, to bring you answers in a conversational manner.

Allo's hiatus is due to Google's focus on RCS, which promises to give Android users more sophisticated functionality, such as high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts and group chat options. More than two dozen wireless carriers and handset makers around the world have committed to embedding the technology in their products.

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