Google is rumoured to be launching a unified chat service, dubbed Babel, that will bring together its existing chat services under one umbrella. Its name has been leaked often enough, but now we have allegedly a first real look at the service thanks to a pair of screenshots from the folks at TechRadar.
The screenshots are from a supposed Google employee. They don't seem to show Google going that far-away from the interface that's typically been around Google Talk, besides a user interface clean up.
However, there are included features such as Google+ integration for photo sharing and the ability to launch Google+ Hangouts within a chat window. A slew of new emojis are also on board.
Such a service out of Google makes sense, as it has worked in the past year to unify existing platforms and remove clutter from its list of services (think Google Reader). Many competitors have unified messaging services, including Apple iMessage and BlackBerry Messaging, that might push Google to such a feature.
According to a report over the weekend, Google is working to purchase cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp for a solid $1 billion. It could potentially tie in to the Babel service. Sadly, we still haven't seen what the interface would look like on Android.
We advise that these are all far from confirmed and could simply be fake mock-ups, but at any rate, these do look relatively legitimate, or at least a pretty spot-on mock-up.
Google is expected to reveal Babel at its Google I/O conference in May, along with a redesign to Google Play.