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Google Hangouts official: a new messaging app for iOS, Android, and Chrome

As rumoured, Google has announced a new chat service dubbed Hangouts. We originally heard from reports that Google would be unifying its chat messaging service – thought to be called Babel – across multiple platforms. It turns out that’s true, and Google is launching the service across Android, Chrome, and iOS.

Essentially this is a chat service that’s accessible across mobile devices and the desktop. Google says that you’ll be able to invite multiple people to the same conversation, with visual cues as to when people are typing and talking that will make it seem “as if you’re all in the same room.”

If you’re tired of typing out your conversation to friends and family, then you can quickly tap the video chat icon in the top right hand corner and begin a video call. Google says that up to 10 friends will be able to take part in the video call. Naturally, all your conversations will be stored in the cloud for easy accessibility, and everything will automatically sync across devices.

All in all, this really isn’t too far removed from the previous Hangouts functionality on Google+, but it’s clear that Google is much more focused on mobile now. This is most likely aimed at being a replacement for WhatsApp or Kik Messenger, but we’ll have to wait and see if people will make the switch. Google says that  the Hangout apps will be available starting from today.

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