We were the first to report the codename of “Babel” as Google’s new unified messaging service, which ended up as Hangouts at public launch, but if you needed actual proof that Babel was around for some time, we thought we’d share this screenshot. It’s taken from my Google Dashboard listing of sites authorized to access my account. You can see that the Hangouts app for iOS is indeed referred to as “iOS Babel App.” (It’s on an iPod Touch that I use for work purposes, don’t kill me.)
You can also hear Google’s director of product management, real-time communications mention it in this video at the 1:40 mark.
During today’s Google I/O keynote, Google and Vic Gundotra announced Hangouts, their new messaging service (previously codenamed Babel). It works across platforms, meaning it works on Chrome, Android, and iOS. It also utilizes cross-device notifications, which allows you to check one device and have the notifications on others clear away. This is the unified chat that has been rumored for weeks now.
The service should go live some time today.
Update: Hangouts in live in Google Play! (more…)
Google I/O 2013 is next week. Hard to believe, right? It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were freaking out as the Nexus 7, Nexus Q and Jelly bean (Android 4.1) were all being unveiled through Google Play as we were entering the day 1 keynote of 2012’s I/O. But here we are, almost a year removed from that event and six months out from Google’s cancelled winter event that was supposed to feature the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, new version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.2), and an updated HSPA+ version of the Nexus 7. So as we approach next week, we thought we should drop some of our own predictions, include a few rumors that are floating about, and even a few whispers that have entered our inbox over the last week or so.
Ready? Here is our list of Google I/O predictions. (more…)
According to a member of The Verge Forums, Google Babel will be called Google Hangout (or is it Hangouts?) at public launch. Now, normally we don’t take random internet forum threads as being gospel, but this particular user also predicted/leaked every single thing that Google was planning to announce at its winter NYC Android event a full 10 days before it ever happened. We’re talking about the event that was supposed to be the unveiling of the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 3G, Nexus 10, and Android 4.2, yet never happened because it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. You can see his post here. So we’re leaning towards giving this guy some credit.
Back to Babel.
Whenever Google Babel does arrive for public consumption, we’re starting to believe it will be everything we have ever asked for in a unified messenger service. We’re talking synced notifications, cross-platform conversation experiences, a new UI, photo sharing, quick access to live video chats, and on-the-record chat history viewing from anywhere. According to sources of ours who have shared new information with us (including a feature list), we’re getting all of this and more. (more…)
Hot on the heels of the story that was reported yesterday, the business development head of WhatsApp, Neeraj Arora, said that there are no talks between his company and Google regarding a sale. Rumors were swirling yesterday that Google was looking to purchase WhatsApp to bolster their upcoming unified messaging service, Babel. According to the report, the offer was near $1 billion to purchase WhatsApp, but that apparently is not the case. (more…)
After we first outed the name Google Babel last week, and the new unified chat app by Google hit internal testers, we figured it was only a matter of time before the first shots of it emerged. Thanks to TechRadar, those first shots may have arrived today. Someone tell Google that the 90s want their emoticons back. (more…)
The worst kept secret leading up to this year’s Google I/O event has been the influx of information hinting at Google planning a new unified messaging service named “Babel.” While Google is no stranger to messaging and chat services, it looks like they might be seeking some help with the new app down the road. New rumors place Google in negotiations with the popular messaging app WhatsApp and it sounds like Google might pay a good amount. (more…)