When Google announced that it is now possible to use Allo on web browsers, there was much rejoicing. Finally, the few Allo users in the world will be able to send and receive messages at computers without having to pick up their phone. It came, however, with a somewhat odd but heavy requirement: keeping Allo open and running on the phone. Soon, however, that might change, as Google lead engineer for Duo, Allo, and WebRTC reveals that Allo for Web might soon be independent of your phone.
The phone requirement is probably strange but it’s not exactly unheard of. This is practically the same system used by a similar WhatsApp Web functionality. What basically happens is that your computer where the web version is running has a connection with the phone where Allo or WhatsApp is running. Allo for Web simply routes the messages through the phone.
While that doesn’t make Allo for Web useless, it does make it less convenient for instances where the phone won’t be anywhere nearby. It makes almost no sense for an instant messaging service that is primarily web-based anyway rather than phone or SIM-based.
Fortunately, according to Google’s Justin Uberti that situation will change in the future. They are developing a backend system that will function on “completely independent devices”, meaning desktops, laptops, and such. That could potentially increase the appeal of Allo, which remains an even more niche messaging service than the dozens of others circulating around the Internet.