The transition from Hangouts to Google Chat is now happening in earnest, with many even reporting that their group conversations have moved between the two platforms. It's just a matter of time until Hangouts itself is retired, so let's take a moment to look back at Google's most successful — and, perhaps, most ignored — messaging platform.
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! Hangouts completely replaces Google Talk, so if you have a fondness for the past, say your goodbyes before you update. Let's take a look:
Google I/O is coming! We'll know about all of Google's new projects in just 2 short agonizingly long weeks. While we desperately count the days until May 15th, we thought it would be a great idea to take stock all of the things we've caught wind of lately.
Calling this an "I/O Preview," sounds a little too certain. I'm not predicting everything here will come out at I/O, this is just a list of everything we know Google is working on - their "To-Do" list. Just like any to-do list, Google could cross something off and release it, or endlessly procrastinate, or completely cancel something.
We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself. Just in case you were wondering.
This contradicts rumors that WhatsApp would be selling to Google for close to $1 billion.
The left side of this image (original here) was posted by a Googler to the Chromium bug tracker. It's a never-before-seen chat application running on Chrome OS. On the right is the newly released Babel screenshot - everything lines up perfectly. The hangout button is in the same place, the profile icon has the same design, and the smiley face button is in the bottom left.
From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.
At first, we were a bit suspicious of the screenshot.
Update: Previously, I mentioned that Babel Rising 3D contains in-app purchasing options. These have since been removed.
It is the conventional wisdom of our time that smartphone and tablet gaming are "the future." Like plastics. It's inevitable, it's going to happen - more and more people will move away from the PSPs, the PCs, and the Xboxes to their all-in-one portable devices. Now, that's not to say these other industries are going away any time soon - console and PC gaming will likely to continue to stand on their own for decades (maybe not so much portable consoles). Console gaming, in particular, is having something of a second "golden age" with the Xbox360 and Nintendo Wii.
Is it possible to promise more in a game than "the power of God"? Probably not. That's what Babel Rising 3D, from AMALtd, is offering, though. In this game, the puny mortals of Earth are working to build a tower to the heavens and it's your role to stop them. Because that's how the story goes. You have a cornucopia of disasters, plagues and, well, acts of God, at your disposal.
Throughout the game, you can level up your powers (you're not one of those ominpotent-type gods, we assume), mastering the elements. That you created. And now have to learn. Look, it's a game, okay?