Is Google Babel-ing on again with Google Voice for Android update?

Look beneath the surface

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A minor update to the Google Voice VoIP app for Android this week may hold a few clues regarding the Babel messaging service that the company is reported to be cooking up.

The app update only lists "Improved the reliability of SMS delivery" as its reason for being, but Android Police took a glance beneath the surface to find one particularly intriguing little detail.

It may not sound like much, but the APK teardown showed that Google Voice's configuration settings can now be read by other applications within the Android ecosystem.

Putting two-and-two together (perhaps to make five), some have concluded Google is intending for another app to take on Voice's settings. Could that be the rumoured all-encompassing Babel application?

Babel fishing?

Recent rumours and leaks have suggested that Babel will bring together G-Talk in Gmail and on Android, as well as a client for Chrome, Android and iOS.

According to a leaked Google memo, the service will run across synchronised devices (a la Apple's iMessage), while it'll also support 800-plus emoji and video based Google+ Hangouts.

Speculation has also pointed to the eventual integration (and replacement) of Google Voice, which brings us neatly back to today's reports.

"I think it all points to another app taking over Google Voice's duties," wrote Android Police's Ron Amadeo. "Google is either baking in special support for its own app, or they're going to start supporting a third party Google Voice ecosystem about a million years too late. GV is, at least partially, readying to transfer data to something, we just aren't sure what."

An official announcement regarding Babel is expected for Google IO 2013.

Via Android Authority