Support for iMessage reactions is being introduced in Google Messages

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The Google Messages update now allows Android device users to see iMessage reactions as attached emoji thumbnails instead of confusing strings of embedded text.

Last week, code unveiled in a beta version of Google Messages suggested that the new feature would build robust support for iMessage reactions, which appear as a heart, thumb up, thumb down, laughter, exclamation mark or emoji question mark associated with a text message. According to 9to5Google, the update is now launched to end users.

Prior to the change, Google Messages users receiving reactions from an iOS device would see a text description of the accompanying emoticon instead of the character itself. For example, a response from an iMessage user who responded to a particular text with a heart emoticon would give the text “[User] loved [entire text message]”on Google messages.

Just a formatting compatibility issue, long text descriptions have been a disaster for some Android users, especially those who have been repeatedly exposed to iMessage reactions in group conversations. Instead of a readable text string, the chat would quickly fill with descriptions of reactions and redundant references to messages already posted.

The result was not ideal for a system designed to reduce clutter.

With the update, Google Messages users will now see emoji thumbnails of the response attached to the appropriate messages as intended. The solution maps iMessages emoticons to those offered by Rich Communications Services (RCS), meaning Appleā€™s emojis are heart-and-laugh emojis replaced by a heart-eyed face and a laughing face.

Google Messages also displays a “Translated from iPhone” message when you tap the message response.

RCS promises to supply Android with a number of advanced messaging features such as typing indicators, read confirmations, end-to-end encryption, Wi-Fi messaging, dynamic group chats and more, the finesse that owners have long enjoyed Apple devices. The system is not compatible with Apple’s proprietary messaging system, which means that texts sent between Android and iOS devices are returned to the SMS backbone.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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