Nikhil SubramaniamApr 08, 2013 15:07:05 IST
A reference to Babel has been spotted on Gmail in the notification text. Babel is said to be a unified messaging service from Google that will bring a better IM and communication experience to Android as well as Chrome OS. It was purportedly called Google Babble until last month, but some reports later said Google plans to name the service Babel. The service will reportedly début on iOS, Google+ and Gmail, besides Android and Chrome OS.
The notification was spotted by Google+ user Patric Dhawaan, who was cleaning his inbox up when a notification popped up saying one or more conversations he had deleted were part of Babel and will be available in other Babel chat applications. Dhawaan posted a screenshot of the notification, which does hint that Babel could come with the ability to sync your chat conversations.
All under one roof
This latest piece of information validates earlier claims that a version of Babel will be coming to Gmail, but what about the Android app? Well, a mobile version appears to be on its way too, as confirmed by another user on Google’s social networking site.
In his Google + post, user Roga Moore said he found a line found in a crash log for a Google code issue that points towards a Babel app. The code says: “/data/data/com.google.android.apps.babel/lib/libvideochat_jni.so”
The eagle-eyed Android fan would have noticed the com.google.android.apps prefix that normally accompanies Google apps. This is something Moore also points out in his post. For example, the app ID or package name for Currents on the Google Play Store is com.google.android.apps.currents. In cases where it is a core app in question, the prefix drops the apps in the package name. For example, com.google.android.gm is the package name for Gmail.
The crash log has multiple references to the Babel app’s package name, but a simple search for Babel on the Google Group for Chromium bugs reveals multiple entries related to the feature, or more to the point, the current bugs. One particular post that deals with reproducing a Google Chat bug in Windows says it will only work on old chat and not Babel. There are other entries as well, which talk about the size of title bar in Babel. All these are clear indications that Babel is well on its way to several platforms.
Babel seeks to solve the age-old Android bugbear of not having a unified messaging service that integrates all the various chat and IM options while using Google’s services. Users will also be able to carry forward conversations across multiple devices, start a Hangout, and share files with their peers more easily. The service could launch in the next few months, but we expect to see it first at Google I/O, which is scheduled for next month.
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