Google Babble icon (small)

The Internet giant Google, reportedly adamant to solve its instant messaging conundrum, is working on consolidating its many chat services and folding them under a new brand name – Google Babble. Not sure whether Babble is just a code-name, but I’d definitely chose a different moniker because the term ‘babble’ doesn’t just denote chatter, it also means “to utter a meaningless confusion of words” and “talk foolishly or idly”.

Be that as it may, a new report Monday claims knowledge of an all-new IM solution from Google designed around organizing chats by conversation rather than by people, no matter what chat service they happen to be using. It’s said to support video, audio, file transfers and threaded conversations across all the existing services. Go right past the break for more tidbits… has the scoop, based on “multiple sources” reporting separately, that Google is building its new service fresh from the ground up:

Google’s quest to continue unifying their products is about to enter its next phase. According to multiple sources, the company’s next step includes unifying their messaging platforms into a single service, which is expected to be called Babble.

No word on whether this thing will be provided as an app for Apple devices. We should learn more at Google I/O 2013, which takes place May 15-17 in San Francisco.

Now, I’ve been a long time Google users and its hugely annoying IM mess has been ticking me off. With Google, you can exchange messages using Google Talk, Gmail chat, Google+ Hangout, Google Voice, Chat for Drive, to name just a few.

While most of these are XMPP-based, Google recently made cross-platform compatibility and collaboration a tad tougher by blocking non-native XMPP requests.

google+ hangouts ipad
A Hangout session using the official Google+ app for iPad.

“In order to use Google’s chat service, especially the new Babble service, you’ll need to be using it the way Google wants you to use it,” writer Russell Holly claims.

He’s citing the quality and performance as the main reasons you’d want to play ball.

Babble continues Google’s trend towards organization by conversation. You can share photos in chat windows just like you would in G+ Messenger, start a Hangout with anyone in your contact list, and the conversations are threaded across all the existing services.

Moving forward, the individual services will all be pushed onto the single platform, and you’ll be able to use the same chat window across all of Google’s products with the same features available everywhere. It’s not so much releasing a new product as it is pulling together all of the existing products under a single branding.

This all sounds very logical given the sad state of Google’s IM landscape: each service has its own set of often incompatible features and various limitations. Worse, some maintain their chat lists separately of other Google chat products, making the dream of a unified communications solutions just that, a dream.

Clearly, some heavy streamlining is needed. While Google Talk comes preinstalled on Android devices (with Google+ with Hangouts on newer hardware), these are still a far cry from Blackberry’s Messenger and Apple’s iMessage.

iOS 5 iMessage (People, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)

As you know, iMessage is built deeply into the bowels of the operating system and right into the stock Messages application, blurring the line between carrier-based text messaging and Internet-based instant messaging.

To me, iMessage – along with Facebook integration and Notification Center – is the most useful iOS feature in years.

It would have of course been even better had tech giants had the foresight to work out cross-platform compatibility for their proprietary services because I do want to exchange chat messages with my non-Apple-totting friends.

Even limited to Apple’s gadgets only, iMessage has proved itself tremendously useful.

I bet you’re a heavy iMessage user yourself, no?

  • Malay Mody

    Is it babble or bubble?

    • Ian

      I hope neither..

    • bAbble

      • lol i see the Upside down “P”s and the “le” means Google is mocking Apple… “bAbble”

    • its shit

      • TriguyRN

        Why did you get 12 likes. That’s ridiculous

      • 19

      • Tardroid


    • Eric Su

      most of my friends’ text messages consist of babble anyway, so Google isn’t really wrong in picking that name !

  • ap3604

    Google Voice is the best one by far. I actually sends real text messages. That way you can use it even for your relatives that don’t have smartphones.

    • noksucow

      Lack of MMS kills it though.

      • Alex Janko

        That is true

  • That’s my biggest gripe with Google’s IM services: there’s so freaking many, for no reason. They’ve killed off how many projects now, but leave the IMs alone? Hopefully this will fix that. And I’m sure they’ll make it cross platform.

  • Johnathan Jennings

    Texting is about to become either very cheap or free. The only OS that doesn’t have it’s own messaging app is WP and I feel by WP9 that will change. But if this “google babble”..? Comes to all platforms like google maps did, then goodbye texting.

    • Mocah

      Except, Google hasn’t been too friendly, as far as cross-platforming goes, to WP. Remember that whole thing about Windows phones not being able to access Gmaps on mobile IE? There might be one or two, but I can’t even think of an app that Google has developed for WP. I’d love to see true cross-platform from Google, especially with Babble because WP is lacking in the iMessage-esque area, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they just leave out Windows entirely.

  • Is it babble or bubble???

    • LiusGustavsson

      What does the title say? And how how do they spell it through the entire post? Common sense, please

  • yay!!! just what we need

    • DorianK

      Yeah, it actually is. Verbs is good but not great. Every other app like is really ugly.

  • Fuck babble. We need google reader.

    • ok go Kiss Google’s ass.. maybe then you will get that service back!

  • Jimothy

    I dislike the name.

  • seyss

    someone is trolling and news sites are falling for it

  • another feature copied…not surprised at all.. #copycats…. Next do the “Game Center” please!

    • Please, elaborate on how it is “copied”. You haven’t even see it, so go and troll somewhere else. iMessage is a just a copy of BlackBerry Messenger so get over yourself.

    • TriguyRN

      Ya because apple invented the first IM service, just like they did everything first. Blackberry anyone?

  • Smells like lawsuit

    • DorianK

      How? It sounds like apps like so many other multiprotocol clients: Trillin, Pidgin, Adium, Verbs.

  • felixtaf

    Like to have Google Talk… Not this one (It may be good, better or best – doesnt matter to me). Whatsapp/iMessage/IMO does the job for me…

  • pauleebe

    iMessage is a huge reason I stick with iOS (being able to ‘text’ via my MBP), so this piques my interest.

    • Pui lam henry

      send / receiving message and my iPod touch MacBook Air iMac iPhone gets it , and I can just pick up 1 of my device to continue the conversation in home , fabulous

      and the sleek feeling of it , smooth as silk experience just makes me hate using apps called whatsapp

      • And then after you add Messages+, you have perfection! All the biteSMS users can have that app, it is still buggy and has the look and feel of child’s messaging system.

      • haridsv

        I enjoy exactly the same flexibility with Google Talk!

    • Very truth, I found it is very cool that I can do on my phone or laptop.

      I wonder if Apple will release a PC version.

  • Mark

    I didn’t read the full article, but I think Google would be more successful if they integrate this with android phones just like Apple did with the iMessage cause if they were just going to create an app for all platforms then this wouldn’t make any difference with the other 3rd party messaging services out there, and some (lazy)people won’t be able notice that it was there.

    • Gtalk was on Android phones long before iMessage came around. The mistake was waiting for people to figure out that SMS was a rip off. People aren’t smart enough. Apple just put the the two together for those who couldn’t figure out the difference.

  • I hope they make an ioS app for this “babble” so i can talk to my android friends too.

  • ExRoot

    I actually like the name “babble”.

    • DorianK

      Yeah, It makes me think of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (the babble fish).

  • I wish they would just make a native Google Talk app for iOS. Verbs is buggy as hell and the rest of the GTalk apps are even worse.

    • Alex Janko

      Have you tried Talkatone?
      It also has GVoice integration

  • AMB_07

    I also hate the name, if this can be incorporated into the SMS app (à la iMessage) then this is a guaranteed success. If not, I just don’t see how they’ll get the word out.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    “Facebook integration is (one of) the most useful iOS feature in years.” Really ??

  • disqusted

    I see this being about as successful as their countless endeavors into the social networking scene. IM is dead, in the traditional sense. Text/mobile-based messaging is where it has gone. I know this is exactly that, but if you’re going to produce a mobile IM app, it better be multi-platform like IMO or Meebo, where they can sign into every IM service out there simultaneously, at minimum. Proprietary/single service clients are wasteful and no longer popular. Google took an intentionally open source chat framework and locked it down… defeating the whole purpose. Plus, isn’t that sorta stealing code in a way? Taking open source/public domain protocols, then using the code/framework but restricting it for private use? I’m not up on the details of the EULA/terms, I’m just saying it seems like it is, to me. I consider it to be “stealing” or at least abusing or misusing code, in my mind.

    But about traditional IM services becoming deprecated and heading towards obsolescence— in my world, this is empirically true. I don’t know of a single one of my friends that still uses traditional IM software with screen names, etc. That’s to include AIM, Y! Messenger, Live Messenger, you get the idea. The last time I signed into these services via Pidgin, it was like zombie apocalypse. “User last signed on __ days ago” typically ranged from 3-6 months all the way up to several years! People I think spend much less leisure time on their desktops with the shift to smartphones that harbor the same capabilities and sometimes more… I know all the time that I used to spend tethered to my computer I now tend to spend that same amount of time doing the same things on my phone. That’s that.

    Plus it’s easy to get things done while pooing. Not even that can disrupt whatever I was doing. I just seamlessly shift between the two. Not as awkward as a laptop, but just as useful.

  • Will kill it next spring…

    No more Google product -.-

  • I do use iMessage, about half my friends have and iPhone/iPod/iPad while the other half of then have an android device, which makes contacting them a little different. So Google Babble would be helpful to me!

  • natalie

    its babble.

  • natalie

    hope you have a great day im leaving!

  • natalie

    wats up

  • natalie

    fe me nah tell

  • natalie

    wats up people.

  • natalie

    its babbel

  • india

    whats up dummys

  • india

    hey how you doing

  • natalie

    hi jasmine.

  • jasmine


  • jasmine

    your a gummy bear

  • natalie

    want to talk about the stuff on the magzines

  • india

    you are hating on me

  • jasmine

    no!!! and i got a follower

  • I live in Perth. Everyone hates the iPhone yet everyone has one. Makes iMessage work well 😛