How Google Won The Week On Our All-New CultCast

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This week on The CultCast: Google Maps gets prettier, smarter, and faster; Hangouts is a new chat app with some innovative features; Google Music is too late to party; Erfon eats H’orderves on a space jet with Tim Cook and Richard Branson; and Leander dons his powdered wig to judge an all new Faves ‘N Raves.

All that and more on this week’s CultCast! Stream or download new and past episodes on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.

Show notes up next.

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Google Plans To Add SMS Texting To New Hangouts App

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The new Google Hangouts app for Android and iOS is the best messaging service Google’s produced yet, but one thing that will probably prevent it from taking off is its lack of SMS support.

If you tried the Hangouts yesterday you probably noticed the amount of people you can talk to is sparse. That’s because Hangouts only uses Google+ to connect to other humans so all of your friends would have to sign up for Google+ before you can use Hangouts to send them a message.

The dearth of people on Google+ probably means that Hangouts isn’t quite ready to be your go-to messaging app quite yet, however, Google’s Community Manager says SMS integration is coming to Hangouts soon.

Here’s Where To Download What Google Released At I/O Today

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Google unleashed an insane amount of news during its marathon keynote at the I/O developer conference today in California. A new music subscription service, Google Maps update, and messaging platform were just a few of the announcements.

Software and services was the name of the game at I/O this year, and here’s a roundup of everything Google unveiled earlier this afternoon:

Google Babel Aims To Be Everything You’ve Ever Wanted In A Cross-Platform Messenger [Rumor]

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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.”

Google Updates Gmail Video Chat To The More Modern Google+ Hangouts

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It appears the Gmail video chat and its peer-to-peer technology has run its course. It served many of us well, but with the introduction of the more modern and featured packed Google+ Hangouts, it’s time to move forward. Google today announced they would be upgrading Gmail video chat to utilize the power of Google’s network and deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality with the new Hangouts system.