Google would be insane to not offer some version of end-to-end encryption in a chat app in 2016, when all of its biggest competitors have it enabled by default. Allo uses the Signal Protocol for its encryption, which is good. But as with all other Google products, Allo will work much better if you let Google into your life.
Google is banking on the idea that you won’t want to enable Incognito Mode, and thus won't enable encryption.
Making encryption opt-in was a decision made by the business and legal teams. It enables Google to mine chats and not piss off governments.— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) May 18, 2016
And so my point isn’t that Allo is evil or Google is evil. But Allo’s security and privacy features are skin deep at best, and we should treat the app for what it is: Yet another chance for Google to learn more about you.
We’ve seen time and time again that people only use privacy tools when they are seamless and don’t affect the overall experience of using the app or program. With Allo, collecting data is core to the value it's offering. Google is giving consumers two options: Insecure with a wonderful user experience, or secure with an inferior experience. What do you think the masses are going to choose?