Google Hangouts could launch at Google I/O as rebranded version of Babel

May 10, 2013
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Google Babel has been discussed quite a few times over the recent weeks. Babel is said to be a unified messaging service and details have turned up in everything from leaked screenshots to Gmail source code. Of course, there had also been a leaked memo which offered details such as how Babel would bring features to include synced notifications. As of today, another Babel related leak has surfaced and it is now looking like the service has been rebranded ahead of a Google I/O announcement.

TechRadar is reporting that Babel has been rebranded as Google Hangouts. The details of the name change come by way of sources from within Google who provided updated screenshots. These new screenshots do not offer a tremendous amount of new insight, however they do clearly list items such as "Sign out of Hangouts." Of course, the connection here would have us looking towards Google+.

Basically, it is expected that Google+ Hangouts along with other services such as Google Talk will be tied in with this new service. Hangouts appear as if they will bring a service with a wide range of functionality. But perhaps more important, a unified messaging service could simplify things for the average user. After all, there has been plenty of confusion with similar services from Google in the past. For that you can simply look towards Google Talk and Gmail Chat.

Looking back to some of the earlier Babel (now Hangouts) details and we have seen this as a service that will be available on a wide variety of platforms to include Android and iOS as well as in Chrome, Gmail and Google+. Some of the earlier features such as the synced notifications will be nice for those with multiple devices. After all, we cannot imagine many enjoy deleting notifications from messages that have already been read somewhere else.

Otherwise, there had also been some chatter about Google possibly integrating Voice with Hangouts, however that seemed more of something that would come in the future as opposed to at launch. In fact, even the earlier leak had the Voice integration as coming "eventually." Anyway, for now we are looking towards an announcement next week during Google I/O and in the meantime, we are going to be on the lookout for additional details.

SOURCE: TechRadar


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  • http://twitter.com/KharyTheCEO Cam Newton

    Pointless without SMS/MMS integration. Plus, manufacturers will refuse to make this the native messaging app in their skinned versions of Android so not everyone will be default to it.

  • Roberto Georgio Pickering

    Still a bit confusing to me. Google+ Hangouts, Gmail Chat, and I’m assuming Google Talk all already have voice and video options. Why in the world would the new ‘unified’ messaging system not launch with voice chat?

    Same applies to texting; Google Voice already supports SMS over IP. I would fully expect the new messaging system to support it as well.

    @twitter-55963708:disqus, I don’t think they need it to be the native messaging app. It can still be an option to replace Google Talk on Android and PC, and Gmail Chat in the browser. Then again, if it supported SMS gracefully, it could be a replacement for SMS. People could just install it and set it as the default on skinned phones. I dunno.