Anyone who has used lots of different Google products can tell you this: Google has a big communication problem right now. For years, people have wondered how – and even if – Google will handle all of its various communications tools, which ballooned in number since Google+ was unveiled. Right now, we have:
- Google Talk
- Google+ Messenger
- Gmail Chat
- Google Chat
- Google+ Hangouts
- Google Voice
- Google Drive collaboration/chat
To make matters worse, only a couple of these services actually work fairly well together; most are completely independent of one another; and all this does is create a horribly confusing situation for the average end user.
Luckily, Google is now rumored to be working on a solution that it will officially unveil at Google I/O in May. Dubbed “Babble,” this will be a unified messaging platform into which each of the above services will be merged. Once this merge is complete, users can expect to have a unified messaging interface across all platforms and services. Google is apparently building this from the ground up, and one important distinction to make is that this will be a closed-platform chat service. In other words, users will not be able to sign on to Babble using a third-party client, at least not at first.
Babble will be unveiled in the form of new desktop and mobile apps, although it’s unclear exactly how Google will handle the rollout on Android. Google Talk is not an app that’s available on the Play Store, and it is heavily integrated into the Android OS, so it seems like it will take more than a simple app upgrade.
In any case, I’m happy to see Google finally making tangible progress on this, and can’t wait to find out what the final product will end up looking like.