The leaks are beginning to happen a lot faster, possibly indicating an imminent release for the unified messaging service ‘Babel’. The name has again been sighted in the screenshot you see above, showing up in a hover-over on a feedback link which asks “What do you think about Babel in Gmail?” so Babel will be integrated into GMail at the very least.
The leak comes from a source who claims to work at Google, however they have chosen to remain annonymous and use a generic webmail address to supply the leaks.
The screenshots you see show a threaded messaging setup with emoticons included. Also suggested by the screenshots is a need for a Google+ account, so Hangouts could be a key component of the new service.
An Android App may also be in the works with Google+ user Roga Moore putting this post up on Google+. The post points to a Google Code thread – Issue 826 –
The thread describes Java crashing on an Audio bug. In the code listed there as you can see from the screenshot are listings which marry up with existing Google Apps available in Google Play, namely : com.google.android.apps.babel
As you can see existing Android Apps have similar URLs :
So Roga does recommend keeping an eye on : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.babel
Also seen in the screenshot is a reference to a library file /data/data/com.google.android.apps.babel/lib/libvideochat_jni.so which indicates that Babel will include Video Chat à la Google Hangouts.
With the ‘leaks’ coming thick and fast, a leaked APK for Android is sure to appear somewhere eventually or perhaps Babel will show up in the Google Chrome Beta channel.
Finally Android has a proper emoji equivalent. It’s not a deal breaker, but I just loved the ones that iOS offered. Adds a bit of flavour to texting.
Looking good… can’t wait to get my hands on it.