In the Bible account of Genesis humanity attempted to build a tower in the city of Babel so tall that it would reach into the heavens and thus allow them to make a name for themselves. God observed this activity and realising their potential power as one race under one language decided to confuse their languages so that they could not understand each other and therefore force them to spread out across the land. If you use Google+, Gmail and other products that use Google Chat then you may feel like the residents of Babel at times, especially when it comes to using them across multiple devices. Google have been working on a way to unify all these chat streams and the end result appears to be a product aptly (or ironically) named Google Babel.
Information is supposedly meant to be leaked and directed from “sources” at the moment so I wouldn’t quote any of the following but the basic concept is to integrate Google’s chat products; even to the extent of cross-platform notification syncing meaning that if you read and reply to a message on your mobile phone then it will automatically be marked as read on your computer or tablet for example. I personally haven’t had a problem with this but I have definitely come across plenty of people who have complained about the current system, it will be a handy update to have regardless and one that actually reminds me of how Facebook instant messaging already functions.
A leaked Google memo brought out the main features we can expect from Google Babel:
- A new interface that can be applied across all platforms and products.
- All of these platforms and products will be fully synced allowing there to be just one conversation list and therefore a more fluid experience.
- A desktop app so you don’t have to search across open tabs trying to find your conversation, the chat will continue outside the browser.
- The ability to create group conversations and start Hangouts with them at the touch of a button.
- Single time notifications keep things simple as opening one on your mobile for example will remove the notifications on your other devices.
- Photos can now be sent between conversations along with more emoticons which helps make the current dull text boxes more interesting.
- Chat history can be viewed simply by scrolling backwards in the conversation, something that I have personally been missing for ages.
If the memos and leaks are true then the service looks to be on the right track as every single of those bullet points look very appealing to me. Nonetheless Google still haven’t officially confirmed that Babel is to exist so it will definitely be interesting to see whether it gets a mention during Google I/O 2013.
On a separate note if you are looking for a quick break I would recommend checking out the main page of the Google I/O site, there are various codes hidden within it’s logo…