Thanks to those leaked screenshots that appeared on Tuesday, we’re pretty confident that Google Babel is no longer just a rumor, but a real product that’s patiently waiting to get its grand unveiling. And according to sources that are familiar with Google’s plans, it’s worth getting excited about.
They claim Babel aims to be “everything we have ever asked for in a unified messenger service,” with cross-platform syncing and a “first class iOS experience.”
Babel is reportedly a collaboration that’s being developed by the Android, Google+, Chrome, and Apps teams at Google, according to the sources speaking to Droid-Life. The service will be available within Gmail, and as Android, iOS, and Chrome apps — and those who use Apple devices are in for a treat.
“What’s particularly interesting, is that Google is talking about the iOS app as being the first time they have built a ‘first class iOS experience,'” Droid-Life reports. Given that a number of Google’s existing iOS apps are already pretty nice, such as Google Maps, Google+, and the latest Gmail release, we’re very excited to see what Babel brings.
The sources also claim that Babel will integrate Google Talk, Hangouts, and Google+ Messenger initially — which is indicated in those leaked screenshots — but Google Voice will also be added later on. Babel will also support cross-platform notification syncing, so if you read and reply to a message on your iPhone, it will automatically mark it as read on your other devices.
According to Droid-Life, other features will include the ability to send photos, “800+ emoji (not an exaggeration),” group chat, and the ability to go through chat history on any device — even if the chat we held on another device.
Here’s a list of things we can look forward to from Babel, according to a leaked Google memo:
- Brand new UI. We’ve designed a new UI that’s applied across all clients and promotes conversations.
- Stay in sync. With just one conversation list and experience across mobile and desktop, everything is always in sync. Install the Chrome app, the Android app, and iOS app.
- Desktop app. Stop laying whack a mole across blinking browser tabs. With the new Chrome app your conversations continue outside of the browser.
- Keep a group conversation going to coordinate with your team, and start a Hangout with a single tap whenever you need to talk face-to-face.
- Be notified…just once. Get notifications on your two phones, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Open it on one and watch the others disappear. If you’re actively using your computer or phone we’ll even intelligently notify you on just one of those endpoints. Magic!
- Message more than just text. Add a photo to the conversation and/or send some of the 800+ emoji to your coworkers. Kittens and poop are particularly helpful in explaining complex issues.
- Get nostalgic. Scroll back in time and relive any (on-the-record) conversation, on any device.
- More ways to talk. For the first time we are building a first class iOS experience. Try out our very early preview on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
There’s still no word on when Babel may launch, unfortunately, but it’s possibly Google will keep us waiting until Google I/O in May.