Google says hello to Allo, goodbye to Hangouts

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"'Allo, guvna!" Google's new messaging app is obviously British.
Photo: Google

Watch out Facebook Messenger, Google is taking another stab at messaging with its newly revealed app called Allo.

Does the world really need another messaging app? Probably not. But Google is hoping that it has finally created the perfect mix of features that will make you ditch Snapchat and Facebook.

You can finally bid farewell to your unwanted Google+ account

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Get ready to say au revoir to that unwanted Google+ account you randomly get a friend requests on once a year.

Google announced today that in the coming months the company will allow you to create a YouTube Channel, or Gmail account, without creating a Google+ account. And for those of us who were forced onto Google+, there will be an option to finally remove your public profile.

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Yes, Google can wiretap your Hangouts for the government

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This text isn't the only message that's insecure. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac
This text isn't the only message that's insecure. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking to plan a heist, you’d probably best stay clear of Hangouts: Google has inadvertently confirmed that its chat platform is susceptible to police and government monitoring.

While the tech giant usually keeps quiet about Hangouts’ security features, the revelation (of sorts) came out of an “Ask Me Anything” session Friday on Reddit that included members of Google’s public policy department and legal team. Its proposed topic was “the current status of U.S. government surveillance law reform and how Google thinks about these issues,” but the questions were less about laws or reform and more about Google’s practices.

How Google Won The Week On Our All-New CultCast

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This week on The CultCast: Google Maps gets prettier, smarter, and faster; Hangouts is a new chat app with some innovative features; Google Music is too late to party; Erfon eats H’orderves on a space jet with Tim Cook and Richard Branson; and Leander dons his powdered wig to judge an all new Faves ‘N Raves.

All that and more on this week’s CultCast! Stream or download new and past episodes on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.

Show notes up next.

Cultcast 72 2 player header image

Google Plans To Add SMS Texting To New Hangouts App

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The new Google Hangouts app for Android and iOS is the best messaging service Google’s produced yet, but one thing that will probably prevent it from taking off is its lack of SMS support.

If you tried the Hangouts yesterday you probably noticed the amount of people you can talk to is sparse. That’s because Hangouts only uses Google+ to connect to other humans so all of your friends would have to sign up for Google+ before you can use Hangouts to send them a message.

The dearth of people on Google+ probably means that Hangouts isn’t quite ready to be your go-to messaging app quite yet, however, Google’s Community Manager says SMS integration is coming to Hangouts soon.