Babel speculation fueled by Google Voice update

April 17, 2013


Google Voice received a major update yesterday after more than a year, and it brings interesting tidings.

The changelog was a sparse affair, only citing an “Improved reliability of SMS delivery.” However, a teardown of the Google Voice APK by the folks over at AndroidPolice have revealed some interesting internal code changes and additions to the app. Without going into the actual code, the biggest find was that Voice now allows other apps to pull all its configuration settings.

What does this mean? Well, at least preliminarily, some other app (presumably from Google) is going to use all of settings of Voice for its own purposes. This new app may conceivably even be used to replace Voice completely at some point in the future. In fact, considering the deluge of rumours about “Babel” — or whatever Google decides to name their unified messaging platform — there is a good chance that these changes might have been made for that very service.

Babel has been rumoured to replace and unify almost all of Google’s messaging services. If it can replace Google Talk and the G+ Messaging app, it is quite plausible that they could choose to eliminate Google Voice completely as well, and port its features over to this service. In any case, we do not have too long to wait now; IO is only 1 month away, and rumours have indicated that Babel could come baked into Key Lime Pie. Hopefully, all shall be revealed at I/O 13.