Lo and behold. Babel is very real and about to make communicating over Google’s services much easier. After nearly a month of hints in Google codes and references in all manner of hidden places, a Google employee has leaked screenshots of the service.

The pictures, which were sent to TechRadar, show Babel running inside Gmail, adding merit to the rumour that your beloved GTalk maybe on the way out. One of the screenshots suggests Google will introduce this feature in Gmail in its usual try-it-and-see way. As usual, users will have an option to switch back to the current GTalk mode if they are dissatisfied with the experience.

However, this is most likely a temporary option, like in the case of the new Compose window. If you have any particular problems with Babel, the feedback button will come in handy.

The leaked screenshots of the Babel chatting service in Gmail (Image credit: TechRadar)

The leaked screenshots of the Babel chatting service in Gmail (Image credit: TechRadar)

Other screenshots reveal a bevy of emoticons for when words just won’t suffice. The emoji are very much based on the design of the Google+ ‘Mood’ icons and there are plenty of emoticons to choose from.

One interesting screenshot reveals that Google wants you to use Google+ more. You can share photos with your chat contacts if you've signed-in to G+; otherwise, you’re out of luck. This deep Google+ influence in terms of design and features means Google is going all out to get more takers for its social network.

As far as the actual chat screen is concerned, those already familiar with the new Google design language will be right at home. While we can’t see many new features at the moment, it seems off-the-record chatting is being retained. Those involved in a chat can switch to a Hangout with a click if webcam support is present. Overall, the aesthetic is very much in line with the new Compose window on Gmail, as well as many of the UI changes Google has implemented in other areas, such as Image search.

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