After taking some major steps forward earlier this week with the announcement that Google Talk support would finally be hitting Outlook, the long-anticipated Babel all-in-one chat service has finally been revealed as... Hangouts. Which yes, we already have sort of — but not like this.
Google Talk, Hangouts, Voice, Google+ messenger: of it is finally integrated into one monster of a unified chat service. Taking on the Google Hangouts name does make sense, too, since Google has been notorious recently for trying to shove as many users onto Google+ as they can manage.
As far as the service itself goes, you'll finally get a synchronised chat across virtually every single one of your devices, with the ability to go back through chat history, delete messages, and grab files on every single one of them. You can hold group chats with any number of friends, and just like the Hangouts you know and love, you can also move straight into video chat from your Hangout should the need arise.
What's more, the new Hangout incarnation will be hitting multiple platforms, coming to you on Android, Chrome, iOS , and of course, within Gmail's own web client. At long last, we're getting at least some approximation of the Platonic ideal of chat that has been long overdue.