Android Babel API?
The communication situation on Android has gotten worse with the introduction of Google+. We used to have just Messaging (SMS), and Gtalk, and then they added Messenger. And they did this after Apple introduced iMessage, which simplified messaging. It seemed so counter-productive. So when I read things like this, I jump for joy:
Rumors have been swirling that Google is working on a cross-platform messaging service called Babel that will tie together all of its existing communication products, from Google Talk and Hangouts to Voice and Google+ Messenger.
It sounds like it could fall slightly short of everything that I would hope for, though. Android is in a perfect place to make their system even better, for everyone, not only when in Googleland. Android already has an API to allow any app to sync their contact details into your People app. What if they made a communication API, that any app could tie into, that would allow you to use just the native Android communication app, and be able to talk to everyone on all platforms. It could be SMS, Gtalk, WhatsApp, and Facebook, and I wouldn’t have to care how.
Someone on the Android team, please do it!
Additionally, this global app needs to behave similar to Facebook’s new Chatheads. Being able to keep browsing and doing other things while my chat is minimized, and then opening it partly to answer, and get right back to it: that is the way messaging must work on Android going forward. No butts.
I’ve always enjoyed Android messaging more than iOS, and a big reason is because the Android Messaging app shows the person’s picture next to their messages. For that reason, I’ve always assigned people I message frequently with a photo, if they haven’t chosen one themselves. This new API (call it Babel) would be really push it into the new age of text communication.