Google Babel to bring notification syncing, 800+ emoji, 'first-class' iOS experience

Google's unified messaging system, Babel, may very well change the way heavy Google users communicate. The folks at Droid Life have got their hands on a Google memo listing all the features of the new messaging system. The features include synced notifications, cross-platform conversation, a smoother and cleaner UI, photo sharing, and quick access to video chats and chat history.


Babel is the result of collaboration between the Google+, Android, Chrome and Apps teams at the company. The unified messaging system will launch on Gmail, Android, Chrome OS and even on iOS. Yes, that’s right; Google wants more smartphone users to adopt their messaging platform, and is going straight for the market that has already been exposed to iMessage. The Babel iPhone app will supposedly provide a “first class iOS experience”.

Babel cover image

All under one roof



At the top of the feature list for Babel is notification syncing across devices and platforms. Whenever a message comes in, you can check it on any of your devices and the status of the message will change automatically on every other device. Similarly, an intelligence engine within Babel recognises which device you are using the most right now and only sends you a notification there instead of on all your devices.

Users will be sent photos quickly and without any restrictions on what platform is being used. Emoticon lovers can make use of 800+ emoji options and chat history can be accessed from any device, while group chats and conversations on one device will appear on every device when a sync happens.

The leaked screenshots of the Babel chatting service in Gmail (Image credit: TechRadar)

Earlier leaked screenshots of the Babel chatting service in Gmail (Image credit: TechRadar)


Here are some abstracts from the feature list according to the memo with Droid Life:

  • Stay in sync. With just one conversation list and experience across mobile and desktop, everything is always in sync. Install the Chrome app, the Android app, and iOS app.
  • Desktop app. Stop playing whack a mole across blinking browser tabs. With the new Chrome app your conversations continue outside of the browser.
  • Keep a group conversation going to coordinate with your team, and start a Hangout with a single tap whenever you need to talk face-to-face.
  • Be notified…just once. Get notifications on your two phones, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Open it on one and watch the others disappear. If you’re actively using your computer or phone we’ll even intelligently notify you on just one of those endpoints.
  • Message more than just text. Add a photo to the conversation and/or send some of the 800+ emoji to your coworkers. Kittens and poop are particularly helpful in explaining complex issues.
  • More ways to talk. For the first time we are building a first class iOS experience. Try out our very early preview on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

From the features, it looks like Babel is set to bring much-needed vigour into the instant messaging experience on Android. We think the ability to integrate SMS conversations into the Android app would have made Babel a much more interesting product, but as things stand, it is certainly an improvement over what Android users currently have.

Do you have any particular features you want to see in Babel? Let us know in the comments.

Published Date: Apr 11, 2013 13:07 PM | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2013 13:07 PM