The new Google Messenger is real! It's not called Babel, or Google Talk, but "Hangouts." It also isn't the unified messenger we've all wanted - maybe it will be someday, but Hangouts is strictly a Google Talk replacement - there's no SMS or Google Voice integration.
What Hangouts does have going for it is that it is really pretty. It supports group messaging, pictures, video chat, and even has read receipts! Read More
Readers, Babel no more. As first reported by a historically credible member of The Verge forums and confirmed today by a Tech Radar source, Google's unified messaging platform will be known as Hangouts when it's officially unveiled, and may launch as soon as Google I/O. Tech Radar's contact provided a screenshot that further lends credence to the new name: nestled among the emoticons and toolbar of the alleged interface, an expanded drop down menu includes particularly conspicuous options referencing "Hangouts," which is the closest thing to a dead giveaway that I can think of. Read More
Tech Radar just came through with some really convincing screenshots of the Google Babel web interface. Check this out:
I believe these are real, and I'll tell you why: They perfectly match the partially obscured screenshots of Babel that Googlers have been accidentally posting to the Chromium bug tracker (props to Craig Tumblison for this awesome list).
The left side of this image (original here) was posted by a Googler to the Chromium bug tracker. Read More