updated 06:27 pm EDT, Sat May 11, 2013
Unified messaging service could be formally revealed next week
Google will be unveiling its unified messaging system at Google I/O, according to a report. The name Babel will be retired in favor of Google Hangouts, the same name as its Google+ video-based chat-room system, as the search engine continues to try and encourage its users to use the Google-produced social network and surrounding ecosystem.
A source of TechRadar that allegedly works at Google provided screenshots of the new Hangouts in action, which also incorporates the GChat instant messaging service. It is shown in the images that there will be options to archive Hangouts, block users, and revert to a previous version of the chat services, though this last item will likely not last forever.
Based on the XMPP open chat and messaging platform already used in Google Talk, the service will in theory work with iOS devices, thanks to hooks for clients found in leaked HTML code. It is also suggested that the Google Hangouts platform could end up being larger than some other messaging systems, like BlackBerry Messenger and iMessage.