Google Babel to launch as Google Hangouts, Gmail getting card-style Holo update soon [RUMOR]



We’re about a week away from Google I/O and there’s a lot we expect Google to announce, but new rumors give us more clarification on a couple of things. This information is courtesy of forum-goer ryan_socio, the same one who leaked all the juicy bits regarding Google’s Nexus announcements a week and a half ahead of time. This time, it’s all about Google Babel and Gmail.

For starters, the word around town is that Google Babel will launch as Google Hangouts at the end of it all. This would be the service that combines Google Messenger, Google Talk, and (obviously) Google Hangouts. Google Voice messaging will also be folded into the mix at a later date, apparently.

We also get a bit of an idea of what to expect in regards to the UI. Spoiler: it’s Holo, and a swipe to the right gives you convenience and quick access to all your chats. The source didn’t have much else new to share except for the fact that the Icon would be end up being the current Messenger icon, except it’ll sport a green huge rather than red.

The source also had something to share regarding Gmail. The app will get an update that is expected to be introduced once Google unveils Android 4.3 or 5.0 (latest we’ve heard is that it’ll be the former, and that this’ll be another incremental upgrade to Jelly Bean). The Gmail UI will be similar to the new card-style layout Google has taken a liking to. Think Google Keep, Google Now, or even the new Play Store. We imagine Google will do something similar to what they did with the iOS app in regards to switching between inboxes and labels, where a swipe to the right will bring all of that up.

We’ll have to wait until Google I/O to see if any of it pans out, but considering the good track record of the source (and the fact that none of this is outside the realm of possibility) it’s not hard for us to give these rumors some clout. Remember that we’ll be at Google’s big Spring show to take it all in and provide live coverage so stay tuned for all things Android coming out of the event.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Nice, I’m looking forward to this.

  2. I want to see SMS integration, like iMessage.
    Never having to backup or restore your texts? Infinite message history? Being able to directly text your friends from Chrome browser or a tablet?

    1. agreed. without this babel or hangouts isn’t really anything special. It won’t change anything for me and I’d assume a lot of people unless this and gvoice are integrated. All I am seeing is that they are repackaging gtalk as hangouts and creating an iOS app for it….

      1. Exactly!!!

        Either SMS integration or REALLY IMPOSSIBLY UNLIKELY whatsapp integration.

        1. the whatsapp rumor was debunked about 2 days after we heard it.

          1. I wasn’t even referring to the rumor….just writing down my personal wishlist :P

    2. That sounds like the ultimate app for snitching on yourself lol

    3. This.

    4. Ummm…..have you tried Google Voice? It has become my default SMS for years now. I never use the SMS that comes with my plan, and I can use it within any browser. Google also has a handy extention for Chrome that allows you to text, make calls, and view your last several items in your inbox.

      1. I agree with Don, I’ve been using Google Voice for a long time and I never have to delete messages or voicemails! it’s the best!

      2. Don, @google-da9b1da2bcbba91993be3bd8442ddd29:disqus , maybe you guys can help me out. On my galaxy nexus I have *never* received pull down notifications upon receiving a message on google voice. It’s the only thing keeping me from using it as my default texting app. Any ideas?

        1. I get them all the time! Under settings, general, you should see “Sync and notifications”. Click that, and make sure you have text notifications selected. There are also options for voicemail notifications, vibrate, and the status light. Also make sure you have background data turned on, or it will never get them until you check the app.

    5. try this for infinite message history, I’m using it for a long time now :)

  3. When he says “Google Messenger” is he talking about the Android Messenger app or the Google+ Messenger?

    *Edit: I just read the source. Looks like its G+ messenger. SMS isn’t currently being integrated. So this is basically useless to me.

  4. Unified Google Messaging has a nice ring to it…

  5. It is amazing to me how many people with smart phones use SMS.

    1. Its universal, even to those without smart phones. Some smartphone users have friends that aren’t nerds.

      1. Bingo.

        1. And we still need MMS in Voice, plenty of people who use smartphones still send MMS.

          I really wont care at all about Babel, it sounds like its not bringing anything useful to the party other than unifying it so its easier to deploy on other platforms (iOS).

      2. I know people that can’t hardly use a smartphone without technical assistance and use WhatsApp.

    2. SMS is still very important. It’s my primary form of communication when voice isn’t possible.

      1. Since when do our phones call people? I should look into this.

    3. You have to remember, a large percentage of mobile users are not smartphone owners. I believe last year was the first year ever where reportedly more smartphones were sold than feature phones. I don’t see SMS going anywhere soon, so it’s not anything to scoff at condescendingly yet.

    4. i can’t speak for everyone else… but my data signal is the most unreliable thing on my phone. I’ve lived in Boston, NYC, and San Diego… I also have Verizon LTE.

  6. Google Voice “at a later date”? So that pretty much means never. Remember SIP integration with Voice? They even removed “SIP at a later date” from their support pages and dropped Gizmo5 support.

    I love Google Voice, I really wish it got more love from Google.

    1. Totally agree with you

    2. Same here.

    3. sl;dkfjasdlfjksdf

  7. Just don’t do anything to remind me of google wave please.

  8. Until we get an equivalent to iMessage, all of these 3rd party messaging apps and Google Hangout will be USELESS. Android needs a native app that sends data/wifi IMs to all android phones and SMS/MMS to non Android phones. iMessage is one of maybe 3 brilliant features on iOS that Android simply has not duplicated.

  9. I feel bad for new adapters that will have no idea what “Hangouts” are. Hey mom, if you want to message me, you should start using “Hangouts”. Yeah… this will not go over well.

    1. no harder than teaching adopters to use either messaging, messenger or talk, but not the blue messenger – just the red one.

  10. I use Google Voice as my primary number and I have it set up to call me through Google Talk on my desktop. However in the last day or so I’ve had 2 incoming calls that popped up the Hangouts UI asking “Would you like to take this call as a Google Hangout?” but it didn’t seem to work when I clicked on it.

  11. No SMS or Google Voice (yet)?? Disappointing… They should just wait to release it until they have those integrated.

  12. #corrections
    “except it’ll sport a green [huge] rather than red”
    I think maybe that should read [hue]?

  13. Sod swiping to the right for a menu. I want to swipe left to archive and right to delete.

  14. It better be good. Viber and WhatsApp have a good head run. Personally, I prefer WhatsApp, but have looked more towards Viber today as they released a new interface and desktop versions.

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