Google Allo chat app finally arrives on the web, with a few catches

Google Allo is now supported on the web, letting you carry on chats as you type away on your computer without having to pick up your phone (a hassle, we know). 

Web support for Allo was promised for months, and now Google has made good, though there are a number of caveats. 

First, you must have Allo on an Android phone in order to use the service on the web. iPhone support is coming, but it's not available now. Second, Allo for web is supported by one browser at the moment: Google's own Chrome. 

Amit Fulay, Allo's head of product, tweeted Google is "actively working on supporting more" browsers, but didn't offer a timeline. 

Allo for web is paired with the Android app and needs the app in order to run, though a number of features are missing from the web. 

These include the ability to connect/switch/remove Google accounts, add or remove members from an existing group, back up info, change your settings, and take photos.

To fire up Allo for web, head to allo.google.com. You'll see a QR code on the page. On your phone, open the Allo app, then go Menu > Allo for web > Scan QR code. Scan the QR code on the web, and tada! You've got Allo on your computer. 

There's little doubt Google will flush out Allo for the web as time goes on, and with iPhone support on the way, more people will be able to use it soon.

Allo has struggled to catch on, especially compared to its companion app, the video chatting Google Duo. Duo currently has between 100,000,000 to 500,000,000 installs on Android, while Allo has between 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 on the platform. 

Google's plan is to have Allo and Duo serve as its consumer chat services while Hangouts carves out a niche in the enterprise. Web support for Allo is an important piece of the puzzle, but it may still not be enough to woo new users.

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