Google is rumored to be working on a unified chat service that would replace all the various tools it's already offering and will work across products, platforms and devices. Unlike Google's other unification ideas, this one actually makes sense.
Right now, Google has a smattering of chat products that cover different areas and sometimes intersect and sometimes work together but not always.
Google knows it's got a problem and it's working on fixing it with a unified service. This isn't exactly a new product, rather, it's a drive to make sure that Google Talk, Voice, Google+ Hangouts and Messenger, the chat in Google Drive and so on, all work together and in the same way.
This is partly a technological problem and partially a branding one. Google is working on a product dubbed Babble, which will function as the underlying technology foundation. Eventually, all Google chat products will be based on it.
Babble will enable you to send chat messages, start a hangout, share images and so on, everything that now requires you to use several Google products. Obviously, it's going to be available on the web and on mobile devices.
Geek.com has several sources which have confirmed
that Google is working on this, but Babble has been spotted before
, even if no one knew what it actually was. Google is also working on a chat client for Chrome that may be linked to all of this.