Google Hangouts (aka Babel), New Cross-Platform Messaging Service Announced: Unifies GTalk, Google Plus Hangouts, Google+ Messenger, and Drive Chats

Google Hangouts officially launched at Google IO 2013

UPDATE: The Hangouts app is available right now for your Android device from Google Play Store here. iOS users can download it from Apple Store here.

Google I/O event continues to deliver good news, as the Hangouts feature has been officially unveiled earlier. This new feature will unify all the messaging services between your Google Talk, Google Plus Hangouts, Messenger and Drive chat for multiple platforms.

Google Hangouts will be available via Android, iOS and Desktop platforms.This is the service that has been known as ‘Babel’ until now. Now, with Hangout tool you will be able to text, send photos and videos via Android, iOS and Desktop without the need of switching windows. Start single or group chats with support for messages, videos and photos in the same char window. You will notice that the notifications will be synced for all your devices.

Google+ has also been improved as it will now feature a new stream, a card-based user interface that has already been available on Android phones and tablets. Now all these are available on desktop computers, also. The search and tag function has been improved and tweaked for a better Google+ browsing experience.

All the new features can be controlled using your default Google+ account. The Hangout app should get rid of the Google Talk and Google+ Messenger application once and for all. There is no official news about the integration of SMS or MMS support, which means that these probably didn’t make it in the final build, as it is something that I really hoped that will happen. Probably, the SMS / MMS functionality will never be available via Hangouts app.

Google Hangouts is already available for your Chrome browser from the Chrome’s Extensions dedicated web page here.

Other great announcements made today at Google I/O were the launches of Samsung Galaxy S4 ¬†Google Edition, Google Play Game Services¬†and Google Play Music ‘All Access’ service. We should get new goodies in the next few hours.