Say it with me: “Google Babble.” It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Well, brace yourself. According to sources for Geek.com, this will be the name of the service that unites Google’s multiple chat and communications tools. If you’re a fan of Google’s many online services and you can get past the name, you’ll probably feel that this is very welcome news.
You see, Google currently has a wide range of different services and each one has some sort of chat or messaging feature built into it. If you use Gmail, you’re likely familiar with the chat feature inside that, which many affectionately refer to as Gchat. This chat feature actually connects to the Google Talk network — Google Talk being the native chat application available for Windows and Android. Google Voice can also interact with Gchat, but not the Google Talk apps.
Oh, and Google+ also has a built-in Messenger feature that allows you to chat with your G+ contacts, but these conversations stay locked inside that network. But if you log in to Google+ from a PC, you’ll find that a chat feature similar to the one inside Gmail pops up at the bottom. Are you confused yet? If you are, that’s perfectly reasonable. You’re just one of many users who are baffled at the sheer number of communications options offered by Google — options that don’t tie in well (or at all) with one another.
Google Babble could be Google’s answer to Facebook’s messaging features. Both Facebook Chat and Facebook Messenger tie in very well with one another. When you’re looking at your message threads on the Facebook site or in one of the social network’s apps, both live chat transcripts and offline messages show up together. You’re also able to conduct live group chats or create group messaging threads without having to open multiple apps. It’s mind-blowingly simple and stands in stark contrast to the hodgepodge of solutions Google currently provides.
As someone who uses my fair share of Google services, this unification of multiple messaging services has been a long time coming. Why Google Chat and Google Talk are separately branded is beyond me. Why the Google+ Messenger app doesn’t communicate with Talk is, too. And why Google hasn’t released a Talk client for iOS when it has released almost every other app? I don’t know, but it’s both confusing and frustrating.
But it’s a good thing that Google has finally decided to attack some of these issues and fix them. Even if the name could be better.
We’ll have more as this story develops.